New balloons this year include the animated sensation "Bluey," Stuart the one-eyed Minion from "Despicable Me 2," and new green dinosaur and "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" balloons.
The biggest characters are as long as 70 feet (21 meters) and have 50 handlers holding their ropes, Matt Kaprielian, who oversees the balloons, said in an interview as they were inflated.
Seeing them up close was “a dream come true” for youngster Sophia Correa Perea.
“They're, like, humongous!” she said.
Sam Lo and his family also were impressed to watch the giant characters take shape.
“This is wonderful — first time experiencing it live, in person,” Lo said.