History with the Macy's Parade
In June of 2017, a test flight was held to train balloon handlers for that year's Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Two balloons were utilized; Miss Petula Pig and an unknown Nutcracker. Initially thought to be a new novelty balloon for the main Parade, it would eventually appear in the inaugural run of Universal's Holiday Parade Featuring Macy's in 2017, as one of the three balloons in the Christmas unit of the parade (the others being Dolly's Hot Air Balloon and the Gold Macy's Starflakes). The balloon is also notable for being the largest balloon in the Holiday Parade, alongside Gingy, standing at 44-feet tall.
In 2018, a duplicate of the balloon was made for the main parade, in addition to his second run in Universal's Holiday Parade. The only difference to this balloon compared to his normal counterpart is that his eyes are slightly smaller, and the buttons on his waist are white instead of gold.
In the 2019 parade, high winds caused the Nutcracker balloon to be whipped about along Central Park West. The balloon eventually lurched forward, knocking a female handler down, who approached the balloon in an attempt to stabilize it. The handler was able to get back up with no known injuries, and the Nutcracker balloon remained intact throughout the rest of the Parade
Between November 14th 2020 and January 3rd 2021, the original Nutcracker balloon was on display at Universal's Holiday Experience Featuring Macy's Balloons, a walk-through attraction held in place of the Holiday Parade during the 2020 holiday season.
The Nutcracker appeared in the re-imagined 2020 Macy's Parade via videotaped footage from the 2018 and 2017 NBC Parade telecasts, alongside various characters from Universal's Holiday Parade Featuring Macy's. The balloon was originally going to be flown alongside a pair of Santa Starflakes, however the balloons were cut from the line of march shortly before the Parade due to rising COVID-19 cases.
In addition to being a balloon, a separate Nutcracker has also appeared as a trycaloon in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade since 2012. An article for him and his arch-nemesis Mouse King can be read here.