UNITED STATES NEWS

Macy’s Thanksgiving parade returns, with all the trimmings

Nov 25, 2021, 8:30 AM | Updated: Nov 28, 2021, 8:34 am
Aespa ride on a float during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, Thursday, Nov. 25, 2021, in New Yo...

Aespa ride on a float during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, Thursday, Nov. 25, 2021, in New York. The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade returned in full, after being crimped by the coronavirus pandemic last year. (AP Photo/Jeenah Moon)

(AP Photo/Jeenah Moon)

NEW YORK (AP) — Giant balloons once again wafted through miles of Manhattan, wrangled by costumed handlers. High school and college marching bands from around the country were back, and so were the crowds at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

After being crimped by the coronavirus pandemic last year, the holiday tradition returned in full Thursday, though with 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.

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.

Still, safety measures continued. Parade staffers and volunteers had to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and wear masks, though some singers and performers were allowed to shed them. There was no inoculation requirement for spectators, but Macy’s and the city encouraged them to cover their faces.

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. Most performers were locally based, to cut down on travel, and the giant balloons were tethered to vehicles instead of being handled by volunteers. No spectators were allowed.

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

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

The event came days after an SUV driver plowed through a Christmas parade in suburban Milwaukee, killing six people and injuring over 60. Authorities said the driver, who has been charged with intentional homicide, was speeding away from police after a domestic dispute.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday there was no credible, specific threat to the Thanksgiving parade, but security was extensive, as usual. It involved thousands of police officers, as well as sand-filled garbage trucks and concrete barriers blocking cars from the parade route, bomb-detecting dogs, heavy-weapons teams, radiation and chemical sensors and over 300 extra cameras.

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.

Entertainers and celebrities included Carrie Underwood, Jon Batiste, Nelly, Kelly Rowland, Miss America Camille Schrier, the band Foreigner, and many others. Several Broadway musical casts and the Radio City Rockettes also performed.

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

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

United States News

FILE - Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt speaks during a news conference in St. Louis on Aug. ...
Associated Press

Biden vaccine rule for health workers blocked in 10 states

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A federal judge on Monday blocked President Joe Biden’s administration from enforcing a coronavirus vaccine mandate on thousands of health care workers in 10 states that had brought the first legal challenge against the requirement. The court order said that the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid had no clear […]
20 hours ago
Patrons Naomi and Troy DeMontmorency, from Kern County, Calif., show their digital vaccination cert...
Associated Press

LA begins enforcing strict mandate requiring proof of vax

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Enforcement began Monday in Los Angeles for one of the strictest vaccine mandates in the country, a sweeping measure that requires proof of shots for everyone entering a wide variety of businesses from restaurants to theaters and gyms to nail and hair salons. While the latest order aimed at slowing the […]
20 hours ago
People stand holding shopping bags on Regent Street in London, Monday, Nov. 29, 2021. Countries aro...
Associated Press

WHO warns that new virus variant poses ‘very high’ risk

GENEVA (AP) — The World Health Organization warned Monday that the global risk from the omicron variant is “very high” based on the early evidence, saying the mutated coronavirus could lead to surges with “severe consequences.” The assessment from the U.N. health agency, contained in a technical paper issued to member states, amounted to WHO’s […]
20 hours ago
Associated Press

Nézet-Séguin to take 4 weeks off from conducting

NEW YORK (AP) — Yannick Nézet-Séguin, music director of the Metropolitan Opera and the Philadelphia Orchestra, is taking a four-week sabbatical from conducting starting Dec. 19 after a busy autumn and ahead of a challenging second half of the season. The Met said Monday the 46-year-old had withdrawn from a run of Mozart’s “Le Nozze […]
20 hours ago
FILE - Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., speaks at a news conference held by members of the House Freed...
Associated Press

Boebert in call refuses to apologize for anti-Muslim remarks

WASHINGTON (AP) — Days after firebrand conservative Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado was harshly criticized for making anti-Muslim comments about Rep. Ilhan Omar, a Minnesota Democrat whom she likened to a bomb-carrying terrorist, the two spoke by phone Monday. By both lawmakers’ accounts, it did not go well. The conversation, which Boebert sought after issuing […]
20 hours ago
Actor Jussie Smollett arrives Monday, Nov. 29, 2021, at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse for jury s...
Associated Press

EXPLAINER: What charges does Jussie Smollett face at trial?

CHICAGO (AP) — The twists, turns and oddities of the legal saga surrounding Jussie Smollett’s claim in 2019 that he was the target of a racist and homophobic attack in Chicago have culminated in an actual trial, which enters its first full day of testimony Tuesday. Initial charges brought in February 2019 that accused the […]
20 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Sanderson Ford

Sanderson Ford offers cars and deals for all this holiday season

Sanderson Ford’s No! Vember Black Friday sale is giving an opportunity to purchase a new 2021 vehicle just in time for the holiday season.
...
ENVOQUE MD

Thyroid issues: Here are the warning signs and what to do

In a 100-person office in the United States, an estimated 12 co-workers, employees and loved ones, will likely develop a thyroid condition during their lifetime. That’s because, according to the American Thyroid Association, more than 12% of the U.S. population will experience thyroid issues.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Why fall maintenance is important for your heating system and A/C

It’s easy to ignore your heater and air conditioner when they’re working but the moment something breaks, you will likely regret not keeping up with maintenance. After all, if something goes wrong, you may be stuck with a repair that will take longer and be more expensive than simple maintenance.
Macy’s Thanksgiving parade returns, with all the trimmings