Since Americans first purchased televisions, watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade has been as central to the holiday as turkey or arguing with your politically opposed family members. Games have been part of the celebration since 1993 when Sonic the Hedgehog became the first videogame character to have his own float in the parade. Now Sonic returns to the parade just in time for his 20th Anniversary, and for those that make a stink about the Modern Sonic/Classic Sonic distinction in Generations, this balloon reflects the green-eyed Sonic we’ve known since 1999.
Sonic didn’t have the best debut back in November 1993, popping during an especially windy New York City Thanksgiving, but since then Pikachu is the only other game character to get the honor of having a giant balloon at the event. Hopefully the nearly 50-feet tall inflatable will have better luck this year when it appears in the parade that airs on NBC November 24 at 9:00 AM in all US time zones. But take it from us, you can skip the first hour, unless you happen to like marching bands or crummy renditions of Broadway songs.