The Tom Turkey float is seen moving down Sixth Avenue at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, New York.
Source: Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — Giant balloons once again wafted through miles of Manhattan, wrangled by costumed handlers. The national high school and college marching bands were also back. Macy’sThanksgiving Day Parade

The holiday tradition was shattered by last year’s coronavirus pandemic, but it returned full-throttle on Thursday with some precautions.

“It really made Thanksgiving feel very festive and full of life,” Sierra Guardiola, a 23-year-old interior design firm assistant, said after watching the spectacle in a turkey-shaped hat.

An NYPD officer and his son attend the 95th-annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in new York.
NYPD Officer and son join the 95th Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Getty Images: Kena Betancur

Thousands of marchers, hundreds of clowns, dozens of balloons and floats — and, of course, Santa Claus — marked the latest U.S. holiday event to make a comeback as vaccines, familiarity and sheer frustration made officials and some of the public more comfortable with big gatherings amid the ongoing pandemic.

To President Joe Biden, the parade’s full-fledged return was a sign of renewal, and he called NBC broadcaster Al Roker on-air to say so.

“After two years, we’re back. America is back. There’s nothing we’re unable to overcome,” Biden said over the phone from Nantucket, Massachusetts, where he was watching the broadcast with his family.

Safety measures were not abandoned. Safety measures were not abandoned by volunteers and staff at parades. be vaccinated against COVID-19 and wear masksHowever, some performers and singers were permitted to remove them. There was no inoculation requirement for spectators, but Macy’s and the city encouraged them to cover their faces.

Baby Yoda, also known as the Grogu balloon, floats along 6th Ave. in New York.
Baby Yoda is also called the Grogu balloon and floats on 6th Ave.
Through the Associated Press

Asahi Pompey said she made a point of getting her vaccine booster shot Wednesday and wore a mask while in the crowd, but COVID-19 concerns couldn’t keep her away.

“It feels really phenomenal to be here. It feels like New York is on its way to recovery,” said Pompey, 49, a lawyer.

“It’s like the whole spirit of New York has come and gathered so we can be together,” added her school-age son, Sebastian Pompey-Schoelkopf.

Last Thanksgiving, with no vaccines available and the virus beginning a winter surge in the nation’s biggest city, the parade was confined to one block and sometimes pre-taped. To cut down travel costs, most performers were local. The giant balloons were also tethered instead of being operated by volunteers. There were no spectators.

Crowds attend Thursday's parade. There was no inoculation requirement for spectators, but Macy’s and the city encouraged them to cover their faces.
Thursday’s parade was attended by thousands. There was no inoculation requirement for spectators, but Macy’s and the city encouraged them to cover their faces.
Getty Images: Kena Betancur

Getting to watch the nearly century-old parade this year on the street, instead of a screen, was “incredible” for Katie Koth. This 26-year old teacher attended the event for only the second time.

“The energy is crazy, and the crowd was amazing,” she said.

It happened days following an accident involving an SUV driver. plowed through a Christmas parade in suburban MilwaukeeSix people were killed in the attack. injuring over 60. According to authorities, the driver was charged with intentional homicideFollowing a domestic conflict, she was seen running away from police.

The Mayor Bill de Blasio claimed Wednesday that the Thanksgiving parade was safe, although security measures were extensive. The parade was surrounded by thousands of police officers as well as concrete barriers, concrete garbage trucks, and concrete blocks blocking the route. There were also bomb-detecting dogs and heavy-weapons teams. Radiation and chemical sensors were used, as well, and more than 300 cameras.

Santa Claus waved at spectators while riding his sleigh in New York City.
Santa Claus made greetings to New York City’s spectators as he rode his sleigh through the city.
John Lamparski via Getty Images

Inside the barricades, new balloon giants joined the lineup, including the title character from the Netflix series “Ada Twist, Scientist”; the Pokémon characters Pikachu and Eevee on a sled (Pikachu has appeared before, in different form), and Grogu, aka “Baby Yoda,” from the television show “The Mandalorian.” New floats came from entities ranging from condiment maker Heinz to NBCUniversal’s Peacock streaming service to the Louisiana Office of Tourism.

Some of the celebrities and entertainers were Carrie Underwood (Jon Batiste), Nelly, Kelly Rowland Miss America Camille Schrier and Foreigner. Numerous Broadway musical ensembles performed, as well as the Radio City Rockettes.

Sloan Brown, 6, took it all in from a sidewalk and summed up the experience in a word: “Cool.”

See more parade photos below:

John Lamparski via Getty Images
New York City’s Thanksgiving Day Parade saw thousands of participants, including hundreds of clowns and balloons as well as thousands of floats and balloons.
John Lamparski via Getty Images
The University of Alabama’s Marching Band participates in Manhattan’s 95th Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
John Lamparski via Getty Images
During Thursday’s parade, members of the University of Alabama marching band pose for photos.
Alexi Rosenfeld via Getty Images
The Trump International Hotel, New York City is passed by a dinosaur balloon.
John Lamparski via Getty Images
During Thursday’s parade, a Pikachu- and Eevee Pokémon balloon was seen.
Alexi Rosenfeld via Getty Images
At Thursday’s festival, participants interact with an inflatable reindeer. Following the outbreak of coronavirus in 2020, the parade returned to full scale.
Alexi Rosenfeld via Getty Images
Donovan Patton (left), Joshua Dela Cruz and Steve Burns (“Blue’s Clues”) participate in Macy’s 95th Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Source: Associated Press
Right, Jon Batiste rides on a New Orleans-themed vehicle during Thursday’s parade
John Lamparski via Getty Images
Miss America Camille Schrier ride the Spirit of America and waves at parade-goers.
Gary Hershorn via Getty Images
Papa Smurf parades through Central Park West on Thursday during the Parade.
Alexi Rosenfeld via Getty Images
As Sonic the Hedgehog floates in the background, thousands of people leap rope unison.
Gary Hershorn via Getty Images
Boss Baby’s balloon flots through Central Park West.
Getty Images: Anadolu Agency
Super Saiyan Blue Goku is seen zooming through Manhattan, a character from Dragon Ball manga and anime.
John Lamparski via Getty Images
Participants in Macy’s Parade hold signs that read “Macy’s Parade.”
John Lamparski via Getty Images
You can see the Snoopy balloon floating along Manhattan’s streets.
Alexi Rosenfeld via Getty Images
Macy’s employees sing while standing on top of a Christmas tree-float.


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