I get paid to produce the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Meet the man behind Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

John Piper's job is full of hot air.

He oversees all aspects of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, including the famous balloons that float above Manhattan's streets.

"People say so what's it like when your balloon finally comes to being? Magic, total magic," Piper said in an interview with CNBC's "Power Lunch."

This year will be Macy's 90th parade and Piper's 36th. It's also one of his most ambitious.

"The Trolls balloon has three characters hanging onto a fourth character. Four characters, one balloon, how are you going to make that work?", Piper said.

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Elf On the Shelf Balloon.
Source: Macy's

Making it work, Piper says, is what his team does best.

"After 89 years, you kind of get the hang of how to make it work. Not that there aren't challenges," he said.

Weather is one of them.

"All of the floats are painted with waterproof paint, all of the sculptures are covered with a hard plastic that makes them fire retardant and water proof. The balloon calculations for making sure that they have enough helium to lift up in the air include a calculation for a layer of water over the entire balloon and the added weight that will go into that," Piper said.

So far, the parade has not been cancelled due to weather. In fact, the only time it has ever been cancelled was a period during World War II.

"There were three years where it wouldn't have been appropriate or safe to have had the parade coming down the main streets of New York," Piper said.

Instead, he added, the balloons were scrapped for their rubber and donated to the war effort.