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

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' Turns 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license 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.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid