By JAMES WHITE
Good times: The giant reindeer is guided up the street in Richmond, Virginia
It was the stuff of childhood nightmares.
Crowds of families gathered to watch the annual Christmas parade in Richmond, Virginia, where a series of giant festive balloons were marched down the town's main street.
One of the first to catch the eye of spectators was a huge inflatable Rudolph - guided by volunteers using ropes.
Guiding: Rudolph follows his red nose towards trouble
At first the parade goes swimmingly, until the crowd realises the balloon will not fit under a traffic light and handlers desperately attempt to move the reindeer around the obstruction.
However, their efforts left the balloon speared in the head by part of the traffic light's framework and hundreds of horrified children were forced to watch as the Christmas character 'died' in front of them
Trouble: The balloon's last moments
Efforts: Volunteers guiding the attraction desperately try to save it
The inflatable attraction was preceded by scores of Segway riders wearing reindeer antlers who remained blissfully unaware of the fate of the act that followed.
A marching band that followed was forced to wait as the bizarre aftermath of the incident was cleared away.
Beginning of the end: The reindeer takes a blow to the head courtesy of the traffic light
Christmas is cancelled: The balloon deflates in front of horrified children
Tuesday, 7 December 2010
By JAMES WHITE