Macy's Thanksgiving parade revels on amid tight security

<p>The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade featured balloons, bands, stars and heavy security in a year marked by attacks on outdoor gathering spots.</p>

News 12 Staff

Nov 23, 2017, 2:52 PM

Updated 2,424 days ago

Share:

Macy's Thanksgiving parade revels on amid tight security
NEW YORK (AP) - The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade featured balloons, bands, stars and heavy security in a year marked by attacks on outdoor gathering spots.
With new faces and old favorites in the lineup, the Americana extravaganza made its way through 2 ½ miles (3.22 kilometers) of Manhattan on a cold morning.
"The crowds are still the same, but there's a lot more police here. That's the age we live in," Paul Seyforth said as he attended the parade he'd watched since the 1950s.
"Not a lot's changed - the balloons, the bands, the floats - and that's the good thing," said Seyforth, 76, who'd flown in from Denver to spend his 50th wedding anniversary in New York and see this year's parade.
The televised parade was proceeding smoothly, though about midway through, a gust of wind on a largely calm day blew a candy-cane balloon into a tree branch, and it popped near the start of the route on Manhattan's Upper West Side. No one was injured.
In 2005, one of the parade's signature giant balloons caught a gust, hit a Times Square lamppost and injured two people. The candy cane was smaller than the giant balloons.
Timothy McMillian and his wife, their 9-year-old daughter and his in-laws started staking out a spot along the route at 6:30 a.m. They'd come from Greensboro, North Carolina, to see in person the spectacle they'd watched on TV for years.
McMillian, a 45-year-old schoolteacher, booked a hotel months ago, but he started to have some concerns about security when a truck attack on a bike path near the World Trade Center killed eight people on Halloween.
"With the event being out in the open like this, we were concerned," he said. "But we knew security would be ramped up today, and we have full confidence in the NYPD."
Authorities say there is no confirmation of a credible threat to the parade, but they were taking no chances after both the truck attack and the October shooting that killed 58 people at a Las Vegas country music festival.
Four activists jumped over barriers and briefly sat down in the street at about 9:10 a.m. to protest the end of a program that extended protections to immigrants brought illegally to the U.S. as children, according to a spokesman for activist group Cosecha. Police quickly escorted them back. No one was arrested and the parade was not delayed.
New York Police Department officers with assault weapons and portable radiation detectors were circulating among the crowds, sharpshooters were on rooftops and sand-filled city sanitation trucks were poised as imposing barriers to traffic at every cross street. Officers also were escorting each of the giant balloons.
The mayor and police brass have repeatedly stressed that visitors shouldn't be deterred. And Bekki Grinnell certainly wasn't.
"When your kid from Alaska is marching in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, you come," said Grinnell, whose daughter was marching with the band from Colony High School in Palmer, Alaska. Grinnell said she wasn't worried about security because of the police presence: "I think we're in a safe spot."
Other paradegoers also showed their appreciation for police: The NYPD marching band and a group of mounted officers got some of the biggest cheers from spectators lined up as many as 15 deep along barricades. Among other crowd favorites: as did the SpongeBob SquarePants balloon.
The 91st annual parade featured new balloons including Olaf from the Disney movie "Frozen" and Chase from the TV cartoon "Paw Patrol" will be among the new balloons Thursday, along with a new version of the Grinch of Dr. Seuss fame.
Smokey Robinson, The Roots, Flo Rida and Wyclef Jean were among the stars celebrating, along with performances from the casts of Broadway's "Anastasia," ''Dear Evan Hansen" and "SpongeBob SquarePants." The lineup included a dozen marching bands, as well as the high-kicking Radio City Music Hall Rockettes - and, of course, Santa Claus.
"This is my favorite thing ever," musician Questlove told The Associated Press as he got ready to ride the Gibson Guitars float with his bandmates in The Roots and late-night host Jimmy Fallon of "The Tonight Show," where The Roots are the house band. Questlove said being in the parade is "probably my favorite perk" of the job.
"To go from being a spectator to being up here, it's kinda cool," he said.
Added singer-songwriter Andy Grammer as he got on the Homewood Suites float: "It's kind of like being at the center of Thanksgiving."
___
Associated Press radio correspondent Julie Walker and Associated Press writer Jennifer Peltz contributed to this report.
Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


More from News 12
1:43
Overnight fire closes Delite Bake Shop in Yonkers

Overnight fire closes Delite Bake Shop in Yonkers

2:01
Mostly cloudy skies in the Hudson Valley; tracking potential storms and showers

Mostly cloudy skies in the Hudson Valley; tracking potential storms and showers

1:55
NYPD: 3-year-old fatally struck in Harlem was from New Rochelle

NYPD: 3-year-old fatally struck in Harlem was from New Rochelle

0:30
Wake services held for Port Chester police officer killed in an off-duty motorbike crash

Wake services held for Port Chester police officer killed in an off-duty motorbike crash

0:25
Police: Newburgh man faces prison time for menacing Maybrook residents with gun

Police: Newburgh man faces prison time for menacing Maybrook residents with gun

0:35
NY Office of Cannabis Management issues recall for ‘Sky High’ brand marijuana products

NY Office of Cannabis Management issues recall for ‘Sky High’ brand marijuana products

1:49
2 'underperforming' Stop & Shop stores in Hudson Valley set to close

2 'underperforming' Stop & Shop stores in Hudson Valley set to close

0:34
Testimony ends in Westchester nonprofit's lawsuit filed against Lyft over wheelchair access

Testimony ends in Westchester nonprofit's lawsuit filed against Lyft over wheelchair access

0:57
Nearly $5 million to go toward clean water efforts, police departments in Westchester

Nearly $5 million to go toward clean water efforts, police departments in Westchester

2:10
How to spot scams, fake listings on Amazon Prime Day 2024

How to spot scams, fake listings on Amazon Prime Day 2024

0:26
Police: Bronx man charged in Carmel domestic disturbance

Police: Bronx man charged in Carmel domestic disturbance

1:40
Lawmakers try to force action from state as more beaches close due to bacteria levels

Lawmakers try to force action from state as more beaches close due to bacteria levels

1:03
‘Like a bee colony.’ Crews work to finish preparations for Pleasantville Music Festival

‘Like a bee colony.’ Crews work to finish preparations for Pleasantville Music Festival

1:32
Owners of decades-old restaurant in Rockland County explain reasons for closure

Owners of decades-old restaurant in Rockland County explain reasons for closure

0:57
Congers Fire Department Carnival returns for first time since COVID

Congers Fire Department Carnival returns for first time since COVID

0:24
Rockland County officials warn of contractor scams targeting homeowners

Rockland County officials warn of contractor scams targeting homeowners

0:24
Ulster County offers refunds to season pass holders following pool closure

Ulster County offers refunds to season pass holders following pool closure

0:29
Sen. Michelle Hinchey secures $1 million in funding for Hudson Valley Research Laboratory

Sen. Michelle Hinchey secures $1 million in funding for Hudson Valley Research Laboratory

0:17
New Rochelle firefighters rescue fawn stuck in muddy pond

New Rochelle firefighters rescue fawn stuck in muddy pond

1:43
Rye Brook family raises money for therapy pool

Rye Brook family raises money for therapy pool