Kung Fu Panda balloon hits LA

May 27, 2011 at 11:06 a.m. ET

People in Los Angeles got a chance to do something they rarely get to do. They got to see a balloon straight from the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. At the Arclight movie theater in Hollywood, kids and kids at heart got to check out the giant panda Po from Kung Fu Panda 2. We also have an exclusive announcement about how you can get involved with this year's parade. Hint: It involves hidden elves!

Po debuted last year and believe me, seeing him in person is impressive. He's huge! Of course, you would be too if you ate that many dumplings! This was a huge event, with a wax statue of Jackie Chan, face painting, crafts, kung fu demonstrations, a dragon dance and live musicians. Also on hand with a big announcement was Amy Kule, executive producer of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and Macy's Fourth of July Fireworks.

The Kung Fu Panda balloon visits LA!

First, she gave us some fun facts about Po who was 40 feet above us at the time. ''If you measured him, he's about five stories tall. If you deflated him, which nobody should ever see, he weighs about 500 pounds. It flies amazingly well in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade where he came from.''

This will be the 85th year that the parade has existed and Kule told us, ''There are going to be a lot of surprises that will reflect our past history. We're going to have a lot of costumed characters that will reflect the balloons that have appeared in the parade over the last 85 years. The very first character balloon that we had was in 1927 and that was Felix the cat. So we hope to have Felix and a lot of the other costumed characters representing the past 85 years.''

And now the big announcement: Kule broke the news about a contest that will allow someone to design a balloon that is going to fly in the parade this year! ''We've got a whole elf family that really end the parade that appear right before Santa Claus makes it down to Macy's. We're going to get a new member of the elf family and everyone in the United States will have a chance to design that balloon.''

Kung Fu Panda 2 star Jackie Chan and our reporter, Jenna Busch

We asked how people can get involved. ''We're going to roll out the program this summer, and we're going to hide miniature elves all over the country. You're going to have to find them and you're going to have to pick them up in various distribution locations. We'll have some in stores if people aren't lucky enough to figure out the scavenger hunt themselves. Then you'll have to paint it yourself. It's a white model about eight inches tall. You're going to have to paint it, color it, do whatever you want to it... and upload it to Macy's Facebook page. And we are going to vote on it. The United States gets to vote on it."

Keep an eye on Macys.com and their Facebook page for more details!

Kung Fu Panda 2 stars Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, Dustin Hoffman, Jackie Chan, Lucy Liu and Seth Rogen.

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