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

South Korea Divided on Response to North’s Cyber Attack

In past five years, officials in Seoul have accused Pyongyang of hacking into banks, government websites, causing chaos and inflicting millions of dollars in damages More

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Bentiu

Residents have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy, but planning for the future remains uncertain as fear of attacks looms More

2015 Could Be Watershed for Syria Conflict

Republican control of US Senate in January could lead to more aggressive policy against IS militants in Syria - and against regime of Bashar al-Assad 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.
Ugandan Doctors Aid Victims of Sudan's Civil Wari
X
Adam Bailes
December 22, 2014 3:45 PM
In Sudan's state of South Kordofan, the number of amputees as result of civil war is in the thousands, but few have access to sufficient medical help. Adam Bailes recently visited the area and says a small team of Ugandan doctors has been providing remote help, producing new prosthetic limbs for those in need.
Video

Video Ugandan Doctors Aid Victims of Sudan's Civil War

In Sudan's state of South Kordofan, the number of amputees as result of civil war is in the thousands, but few have access to sufficient medical help. Adam Bailes recently visited the area and says a small team of Ugandan doctors has been providing remote help, producing new prosthetic limbs for those in need.
Video

Video Jane Monheit Christmas Special

Chanteuse Jane Monheit sings the holiday classic “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and explains why it’s her favorite song of the season.
Video

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Town of Bentiu

Six months ago, Bentiu was a ghost town. The capital of northern Unity State, near South Sudan’s important oil fields, had changed hands several times in fighting between government forces and rebels. Calm returned in November and since then, residents of Bentiu have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy. Bentiu’s market has reopened there are plans to start school again. But fears of new attacks hang heavy, as Benno Muchler reports from Bentiu.
Video

Video US Business Groups Press for Greater Access to Cuba

President Barack Obama's decision to do all he can to ease restrictions on U.S. trade, travel and financial activities with Cuba has drawn criticism from some conservatives and Republicans. People who bring tourists to the island and farmers who want to sell more food to Cuba, however, think they can do a lot more business with Cuba. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.

All About America

AppleAndroid