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Monday, November 29, 2021

Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade Returns Full Trim

NEW YORK. Last year, gripped by the coronavirus pandemic, Macy’s Thanksgiving parade returned on Thursday in full, albeit with precautions.

Balloons, floats, marching bands, clowns, and entertainers – and of course Santa Claus – walked 2 1/2 miles (4 kilometers) again through the streets of Manhattan, instead of being limited to one block or sometimes pre-taped In the past year. …

Spectators, closed in 2020, are lined up along the track again. Ensembles from schools and colleges from all over the country were again invited to join the group; most of last year’s performers were local to cut travel. The giant balloons tied to vehicles last year have brought back their costumed handlers.

Parade staff and volunteers were required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and wear masks, although some singers and artists were allowed to take them off. Spectators were not required to get vaccinated, but Macy’s and city officials encouraged them to cover their faces. The popular pre-parade spectacle – the inflating of giant balloons – was available only to vaccinated spectators.

Macy's Thanksgiving Parade in New York Crews pump helium into a balloon from Pikachu and Eevee as the balloon prepares for the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade the next day in New York, November 24, 2021. (Ted Shaffrey / AP Photo) #

Thanksgiving also came days after an SUV driver drove through a Christmas parade in suburban Milwaukee, killing six people and injuring more than 60. Authorities said the driver, charged with premeditated murder, eluded police after a domestic dispute.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday that there was no real specific threat to the Thanksgiving parade, but the NYPD security measures will be extensive as usual.

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“I am very confident that the NYPD has prepared to keep everyone safe,” he said.

Thousands of police officers were assigned to the parade route from streets to rooftops. Cars were blocked off the parade route by sand-filled garbage trucks, other heavy equipment and concrete barriers weighing approximately 360,000 pounds (163,000 kg).

Bomb detection dogs, bomb squad officers, heavy weapons teams, radiation and chemical sensors and more than 300 additional cameras were also sent to the parade route, according to Martina Materasso, chief of the New York Police Department of Counterterrorism.

Macy's Thanksgiving Parade
Macy's Thanksgiving Parade Tom Turkey’s speedboat moves down Sixth Avenue during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade in New York on November 25, 2021. (Jeenah Moon / AP Photo) #

Inside the barricades, about 8,000 people took part in the parade, four dozen balloons of different sizes and two dozen floats.

New balloon giants joining the lineup include the title character from Netflix’s Ada Twist the Scientist; Pokémon characters Pikachu and Eevee on a sleigh (Pikachu previously appeared in a different form) and Grogu, also known as “Baby Yoda,” from the TV show The Mandalorian. The new floats are coming in from a variety of organizations, from condiment maker Heinz to NBCUniversal’s Peacock streaming service and the Louisiana Tourism Authority.

Macy's Thanksgiving Parade
Macy's Thanksgiving Parade An Ada Twist balloon moves down Sixth Avenue during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade in New York on November 25, 2021. (Jeenah Moon / AP Photo) #

Artists and celebrities include Carrie Underwood, John Baptiste, Nelly, Kelly Rowland, Miss America Camilla Schrier, Foreigner and many others. Several Broadway musicals and the Radio City Rockettes have also performed.

Associated Press

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