A giant, fuzzy creature did laps around Back Cove in Portland, on Tuesday, its enormous ears flapping in the wind. When it began doing jumping jacks, a jogger stopped for a selfie. After a quick high-five, the plush varmint got back to work, training for an appearance in the three-mile, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
This year marks Twig Wompkee’s 20th consecutive stroll through the New York City tradition, sponsored by the famous department store. That streak is a record for the 90-year-old parade, according Con Fullam, one of the Maine creators of the cartoon character, who said no other costumed character has made so many appearances in a row. (Macy’s did not immediately respond to an email to confirm the record.)
Twig, and the other Wompkees — Gran, Daisy, Buster, Scout and Hummer — are cartoon creations of Con Fullam and Maura Clarke of Windham. Fullam is also known for creating the television show Greenlight Maine and for writing the Maine Christmas Song in 1987.
Debuting in 1994, the Wompkees have popped up in two feature length videos, as stuffed animals, in at least one children’s book and they are set to be published in three interactive e-books this year and next. They’ve also romped more than once at the annual White House Easter Egg Roll in Washington, D.C.
So, if you’re watching television tomorrow, as the smell of turkey wafts through the house, and your relatives argue about politics in the other room, keep an eye out for Twig in the Macy’s parade. It’s a big day for her.