NEW YORK (AP) – Giant balloons once again swept through miles of Manhattan, being fought off by costumed handlers. High school and college marching bands across the country were back, and so were the crowds Messi’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
After getting fed up with the coronavirus pandemic last year, the holiday tradition returned throughout Thursday, albeit with precautions.
“It really made Thanksgiving feel very festive and full of life,” said 23-year-old interior design firm assistant Sierra Guardiola after seeing the spectacle in the turkey-shaped hat.
Thousands of marchers, hundreds of clowns, dozens of balloons and floats – and, of course, Santa Claus – marked the latest US holiday event to return as vaccines, familiarity and sheer gloom made officials and some of the public more comfortable with large gatherings amid the ongoing pandemic .
For President Joe Biden, the full return of the parade was a sign of renewal, and he called on-air NBC broadcaster Al Roker to say so.
“Two years later, we’re back. America is back. There’s nothing we’ve been unable to overcome,” Biden said over the phone from Nantucket, Massachusetts, where he was watching the broadcast with his family. Was.
Nevertheless, security measures continued. Parade staff and volunteers had to Get vaccinated for COVID-19 and wear a mask, although some singers and artists were allowed to leave them. No vaccinations were required for spectators, but Macy’s and the city encouraged them to cover their faces.
Asahi Pompey said he made it a point to get his vaccine booster shot on Wednesday and wore a mask while in a crowd, but COVID-19 concerns couldn’t keep him away.
“It feels really unprecedented to be here. It looks like New York is on its way to recovery,” said Pompey, 49, a lawyer.
“It feels like the whole spirit of New York has come and assembled so that we can be together,” said her school-age son, Sebastian Pompey-Scholkopf.
Last Thanksgiving, with no vaccines available and the virus beginning winter in the country’s largest city, the parade was limited to one block and sometimes pre-taped, Most of the cast was locally based to cut travel, and giant balloons were tied to vehicles rather than handled by volunteers. Spectators were not allowed.
Watching the nearly century-old parade on the street instead of on screen this year was “incredible” for Katie Koth. The 26-year-old teacher had come to the event for the first time.
“The energy is insane, and the crowd was amazing,” she said.
The incident is of a few days after an SUV driver Plowed Through the Christmas Parade in Suburban Milwaukee, killing six people and 60. more injured, Officials said the driver, who has been intentional murder chargeWas running away from the police after a domestic dispute.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday that there was no credible, specific threat to the Thanksgiving parade, but security was as wide as ever. This included thousands of police officers, as well as sand-laden garbage trucks and concrete barriers blocking cars from the parade route, bomb detection dogs, heavy-arms crews, radiation and chemical sensors, and more than 300 additional cameras.
Inside Barricades, new balloon giants join the lineup, which also includes the title character of the Netflix series “Ada Twist, Scientist”; The Pokémon characters Pikachu and Eevee on a sled (Pikachu has previously appeared in different forms), and Grogu, aka “Baby Yoda”, from the television show “The Mandalorian”. New floats came in, from spice maker Heinz to NBCUniversal’s Peacock streaming service to the Louisiana Office of Tourism.
Entertainers and celebrities included Carrie Underwood, John Batiste, Nelly, Kelly Rowland, Miss America Camille Schrier, Band Foreigner and many more. Several Broadway musical artists and the Radio City Rockets also performed.
Sloan Brown, 6, took it from a sidewalk and summed up the experience in one word: “Cool.”
See more pictures of the parade below: