The largest helium-filled balloon parade in the Midwest starts this morning at ten o’clock in downtown Davenport. Parade chairman Ed Walker says there will be 23 enormous balloons, in all shapes and sizes, floating over the city streets and tugged carefully along by dozens of tethered volunteers.Walker says it takes a lot of dedicated volunteers to make this parade work — especially when those 40- and 50-foot-tall balloons sail around, although he says if it’s windy, they won’t try to take the balloons out. He says the balloon tether duty isn’t hard but it does take some coordination.Walker says this parade rivals the big Macy’s parade put on every year in New York City. Last year’s Holiday Parade in Davenport drew some 60-thousand people from all around eastern Iowa and western Illinois.A holiday parade is also planned today in Cedar Rapids. Many communities are holding parades next weekend — on Friday the 29th — including: Belmond, Winterset, Chariton, Perry, Fort Madison and Grundy Center.
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