UPDATE: Strong winds can't stop the Stamford Downtown Parade Spectacular! Parade organizers announced the balloons will go up as planned, and the parade will start 30 minutes late, at 12:30 p.m. Sunday.
Original story: STAMFORD, Conn. — For the second year in a row, strong winds are threatening the blockbuster balloon parade in Stamford, one of the biggest events of the year in Fairfield County.
A Wind Advisory was issued by the National Weather Service for all of Fairfield County and the entire region through 6 p.m. Sunday.
Southwest winds of 25 to 35 mph are predicted, with gusts of 45 to 50 mph, through Sunday afternoon. That will be strong enough to blow down limbs, trees, and power lines. Scattered power outages are expected.
And that is bad news for the parade, which is set to step off at noon on Sunday from at Summer and Hoyt streets and continue through downtown Stamford.
The threshold for the helium balloons to fly in the 24th Annual Stamford Downtown Parade Spectacular is 25 mph — anything higher is not safe, according to organizers. If the predicted winds occur, the parade will still step off — but without the 16 giant balloons that are its trademark.
And beyond the strong winds, morning rain and temperatures in the mid-40s are not the best for parade viewing. But the parade will go on rain or shine. More details on Stamford Downtown’s Facebook page.
Last year, organizers grounded the balloons when wind gusts reached 30 mph. The parade still went on, but many spectators said it wasn't the same without Elmo, the Very Hungry Caterpillar and the other balloons.
But on the plus side — the parade will still include bands, floats, dancers and, of course, Santa Claus.
A final decision on the balloons will be made Sunday morning.
For more info on the parade, click here.
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