News / USA

Cheers Greet Giant Balloons at Macy's Thanksgiving Parade

The Spider-Man balloon at the Macy's Thanksgiving parade, Nov. 28, 2013 (Photo Sandra Lemaire)
The Spider-Man balloon at the Macy's Thanksgiving parade, Nov. 28, 2013 (Photo Sandra Lemaire)
Sandra Lemaire
Macy’s 87th Annual Thanksgiving Parade kicked off to cheers as the popular giant balloons got the green light to fly under clear skies and mild winds.  

Snoopy and Woodstock were the first mammoths to appear against a backdrop of millions of bundled-up spectators, who lined the streets of Manhattan with their smartphones and cameras in hand.  

Winter Storm Boreas had threatened to ground the biggest balloons Wednesday, as meteorologists warned wind speeds could surpass the limit set by a New York City regulation.  Many had fingers crossed as they waited to hear whether officials would give the go-ahead just before the parade's scheduled start at 9:00 am.

Venezuelans Graciela, center Wilfred front left and their cousins are first-time spectators at the Macy's Thanksgiving parade, in New York, Nov. 28, 2013. (Photo Sandra Lemaire )
Venezuelans Graciela, center Wilfred front left and their cousins are first-time spectators at the Macy's Thanksgiving parade, in New York, Nov. 28, 2013. (Photo Sandra Lemaire )


“We’ve been planning this for 10 years,” said Graciela, a Venezuelan who lives in Philadelphia and traveled to New York City to see the parade. She and her relatives staked out their positions in Bryant Park, which runs along the parade route, in the early morning hours, dragging along folding chairs and blankets to keep warm.  Her cousin Wilfred, a first-time spectator who traveled from Venezuela to see the parade, described the experience as a “once in a lifetime event.”

The SpongeBob SquarePants giant balloon at Macy's Thanksgiving Parade, Nov. 28, 2013. (Photo Sandra Lemaire)
The SpongeBob SquarePants giant balloon at Macy's Thanksgiving Parade, Nov. 28, 2013. (Photo Sandra Lemaire)
For Americans, watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade on Thanksgiving morning is a holiday tradition. Many children dream of seeing the huge balloons, floats, marching bands, Broadway stars and celebrities in person, and if they can’t, they watch it on television. The retailer also posted photos, fun facts and parade updates on its Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts.

In addition to returning crowd favorites Snoopy and his pal Woodstock, SpongeBob SquarePants and the dragon, Toothless, from “How to Train Your Dragon” flew by to oohs and ahhhs by the crowd.

This year’s parade also coincided with the first night of Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights and Feast of Dedication.

Among the floating stages, cast members of the popular television reality show "Duck Dynasty" were welcomed with loud cheers and Oneida Indian Nation’s “The True Spirit of Thanksgiving” drew applause.  Laura Draper, a Native American from New Mexico, whose son Spike was one of the “Fancy Feather Dancers,” described the experience as "unbelievable."
 
April Draper Uentillie, left, her sister Tierra Draper, center, and husband, Orlando Uentiliie, Native Americans of the Navajo Nation who live in New Mexico, traveled to New York to see their brother, Spike who is performing in the Macy's Thanksgiving Par
April Draper Uentillie, left, her sister Tierra Draper, center, and husband, Orlando Uentiliie, Native Americans of the Navajo Nation who live in New Mexico, traveled to New York to see their brother, Spike who is performing in the Macy's Thanksgiving Par

However, this year's parade was not without controversy.  Animal activists vowed to line the route to protest SeaWorld’s” A Sea of Surprises” float featuring Shamu, the iconic killer whale, after complaining that theme parks mistreat whales that perform in their shows. 

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade route (click to enlarge)Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade route (click to enlarge)
x
Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade route (click to enlarge)
Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade route (click to enlarge)
Another protest involved rock ‘n’ roller Joan Jett, a vegetarian and supporter of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), who was scheduled to appear on the South Dakota Department of Tourism float.  The singer was booted after ranchers expressed their displeasure that a vegetarian would be representing their state, famous for its beef products. Later, Jett was quoted as saying she had decided to appear on another float “...because people's political agendas were getting in the way of what should be a purely entertainment-driven event.”

As the parade winded down, some spectators cut out early to avoid the large crowds heading home to prepare for Thanksgiving dinner.  Jane, another first-time spectator from Brazil who lives in New Jersey, said she decided to brave the frigid temperatures because she wanted to see it live rather than watching on tv.

"It's famous right? Everybody knows about it," she said. "I like to see all the fun."
  • Spectators dressed as turkeys stand behind police barricades as they wait for the 87th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, New York, Nov. 28, 2013.
  • A Spider-man balloon in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York, Nov. 28, 2013. (Sandra Lemaire/VOA)
  • A balloon in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York, Nov. 28, 2013. (Sandra Lemaire/VOA)
  • Workers prepare the giant Snoopy balloon before the 87th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, New York, Nov. 28, 2013.
  • President Barack Obama, with daughters Sasha and Malia carries on the Thanksgiving tradition of saving the national turkey, Popcorn, from the dinner table with a "presidential pardon," at the White House, Nov. 27, 2013.
  • President Barack Obama, right, and first lady Michelle Obama participate in a Thanksgiving service project by handing out food at the Capital Area Food Bank in Washington, Nov. 27, 2013.
  • Olivia Rios, who is currently unemployed, eats an early Thanksgiving meal served to the homeless and others at Los Angeles Mission on skid row, Nov. 27, 2013.
  • Travelers and commuters walk through Grand Central Station in New York, Nov. 27, 2013. 
  • Chynnah Clasberry prepares to board a Megabus in Chicago, Illinois for a trip to Atlanta, Georgia, Nov. 26, 2013.
  • Motorists drive north in the rain on Interstate 270 out of Washington ahead of Thanksgiving, Nov. 26, 2013.
  • Tina Corpus and her daughter, Christina, shop for turkey in Los Angeles, California, Nov. 26, 2013.
  • U.S. Army Sgt. Angelica Ciriaco makes her way home at the Miami International Airport after serving 10 months in Afghanistan, Nov. 26, 2013.

You May Like

Changing Under Pressure, IS ‘Potent’ as Ever

US intel officials describe Ramadi's fall as concerning, but say it isn't emblematic of larger effort to degrade IS capabilities More

Nigeria Fuel Shortage Shows Fragility of Africa’s Oil Giant

Although it is the largest oil producer in Africa, country has nearly ran out of fuel it needs to power its generators, cars and airplanes over the past week More

Arrested Football Officials Come Mainly From the Americas

US Justice Department alleges defendants participated in 24-year scheme to enrich themselves through corruption of international soccer More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Charles Lee from: China
November 28, 2013 8:22 PM
I am confused by that ‘This year’s parade also coincided with the first night of Hanukkah’. I used to know Hanukkah coincides with Christmas.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Cari
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
May 27, 2015 9:31 PM
Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.

VOA Blogs