By Sarah Batcheller

If there’s ever a time to step away from the hustle and bustle that life throws at you, it’s the holiday season, which begins with Thanksgiving. For those of you who love plopping down in front of the television with family and friends to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, you owe all the bliss and excitement to John Piper, Vice President and Creative Director of the Macy’s Parade Studio.

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Piper is happily anticipating the new Thomas the Tank Engine balloon that will be featured in this year’s parade. He says we’ll be “going from being a train on the tracks to a train flying high in the sky!” The creative craftsman says that his team works year-round to prepare for the parade, and it took about eight and a half months to build Thomas.

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The handyman believes that the parade is an exceptional opportunity for couples to build long-lasting traditions. Sharing his best relationship advice, he expresses, “The parade is a celebration of our culture; it’s a celebration of our time. It brings together giant characters floating in the air. There’s something for everybody to enjoy, so enjoy it with somebody who’s special to you.”

It’s no secret that love is in the air during the holiday season. In our exclusive interview, Piper reveals, “Of a team of 200 people…3 couples have gotten married who have met each other inflating balloons!” He also happily proclaims, “You never know who Thomas might bring together for the first time and set them on track for a long relationship.”

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Togetherness is the biggest blessing that the parade brings to families. “I look at the sidelines as I’m working, and I see nothing but kids — it doesn’t matter how old they are; they’re all kids!” he explains. “They’re all just in awe about what they’re seeing and experiencing together.”

Be sure to catch Thomas the Tank Engine and the other amazing balloons during this year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, airing on Thursday, November 27th at 9 a.m. on NBC!

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