The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is back, complete with all of the trimmings.
NEW YORK (AP) — After being hampered by the coronavirus pandemic last year, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade resumed in full on Thursday, albeit with some precautions.
Instead of being confined to one block or sometimes pre-taped last year, balloons, floats, marching bands, clowns and performers — and, of course, Santa Claus — wended through 2 12 miles (4 kilometers) of Manhattan streets.
Spectators lined the route again after being barred in 2020.
Marching bands from high schools and colleges across the country were invited back to the lineup; last year’s performers were mostly local to save on travel costs.
Last year’s giant balloons, which were tethered to vehicles, were returned to their costumed handlers.
The parade’s full-fledged return was a sign of renewal for President Joe Biden, who called NBC broadcaster Al Roker on-air to express his feelings.
“We’re back after a two-year hiatus.”
America has made a comeback.
“There’s nothing we can’t overcome,” Biden said over the phone from Nantucket, Massachusetts, where he and his family were watching the broadcast.
In the midst of the ongoing pandemic, vaccines, familiarity, and sheer frustration have made officials and some members of the public more comfortable with large gatherings. The Thanksgiving parade is the latest US holiday event to make a comeback.
Even so, precautions were taken.
Staffers and volunteers in the parade had to be COVID-19-vaccinated and wear masks, though some singers and performers were allowed to remove them.
Spectators were not required to be inoculated, but Macy’s and the city encouraged them to wear masks.
The inflation of the giant balloons, a popular pre-parade attraction, was only available to those who had been vaccinated.
The Thanksgiving gathering occurred just days after an SUV driver plowed through a Christmas parade in suburban Milwaukee, killing six people and injuring more than 60 others.
The driver, who has been charged with intentional homicide, was speeding away from police after a domestic dispute, according to authorities.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday that there was no credible, specific threat to the Thanksgiving parade, but that security would be extensive as usual.
He stated, “I am very confident in what the NYPD has prepared to keep everyone safe.”
The parade was attended by thousands of police officers…
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