Star Tracks: Monday, May 16, 2016 42 years, 2,191 covers and 55,436 stories from PEOPLE magazine's history for you to enjoy
- From the PEOPLE Archives: Gene Wilder's Tearful Goodbye to Wife Gilda Radner
- Read the Cover Story: The Gosselins 10 Years Later: 'So Much Has Changed'
- Animal Group Helps Owner Find Missing Greyhound, Then Takes Her Away
- Gene Wilder Dies: Mel Brooks, Josh Gad and More Celebrities Pay Tribute
- WATCH: Kanye West Cries with Wife Kim Kardashian West in His New 'Wolves' Music Video
People Top 5
LAST UPDATE: Tuesday February 10, 2015 01:10PM EST
PEOPLE Top 5 are the most-viewed stories on the site over the past three days, updated every 60 minutes
- November 26, 2001
- Vol. 56
- No. 22
All Pumped Up
And Now, a Roll of the Drumsticks Please for John Piper, Newly in Charge of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
When this year's Macy's Thanks-giving Day Parade, the 75th, heads down Manhattan's Central Park West toward Macy's flagship store on 34th Street, it will mark the debut not only of four characters—including Curious George and Pikachu—but also of Piper, 45, the parade's new studio manager. Ensuring that everything flies right—and avoiding accidents like the one in 1997 in which a bystander was badly injured after high winds drove a balloon into a lamppost—he is designer, engineer and ringmaster. "I love anything that flies," says Piper, a weekend hot-air balloonist, "and I love cartoons."
A native of Cincinnati, Piper came east in 1980 to pursue a graduate degree in theatrical design. Instead he took a job as a carpenter at the parade studio. He has been there ever since, getting the top slot in January. Piper, says parade executive producer Robin Hall, "understands how to keep the traditions alive."
On Nov. 21 Piper will oversee the trucking of the 26 uninflated balloons from Macy's Hoboken, N.J., warehouse to Manhattan. "When we inflate them, people cheer each balloon." He won't sit down to Thanksgiving dinner until Friday—and not in the Maplewood, N.J., home he shares with wife Maureen, 44, but in the warehouse with 30 or so employees and their families. "We inflate smaller balloons, and the kids run around," he says. "It's a time of great thanksgiving for us."
Treat Yourself! 4 Preview Issues
The most buzzed about stars this minute!