STAMFORD, Conn. - Get a first glimpse of the giant balloons as they come to life when the Balloon Inflation Party on Saturday kicks off the weekend's festivities for Stamford's Parade Spectacular.
The Balloon Inflation Party will run from 3 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 23, on Hoyt Street at Summer Street just north of downtown Stamford. That's the starting point of the Sunday parade, too.
The highlight of the party will be showing off the giant helium balloons as they take shape and rise into the air. It will take 79,035 cubic feet of helium to fill this year's balloons, according to the Stamford Downtown Special Services District, which holds the annual parade.
Party attendees will also get a preview of the Chicago Boyz Acrobatic Team from "America's Got Talent," who will also be performing in this year's parade.
The inflation event is sponsored by SAC Capital Advisors, a Stamford hedge fund. All are welcome to attend the free street party. Dress appropriately for the weather.
Joining old favorites Elmo, Big Bird, Clifford the Big Red Dog, Kermit and Popeye will be four new balloons - Smurf, Babar and Badou, and Foofa and Plex from the show "Yo Gabba Gabba!"
For those who want to wait for the parade, the 20th annual Parade Spectacular will step off at noon Sunday, Nov. 24.
The parade is Stamford's biggest single event of the year -- last year's drew an estimated crowd of 200,000, according to Stamford Downtown Special Services District.
"This parade is a joy to produce, and I hope that everyone who comes to see it has as much fun watching it as we at the DSSD have in putting it on," said Sandy Goldstein, president of the Stamford Downtown Special Services District, which has produced the event since its start.
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