Scores of Americans came out on Thanksgiving Day to watch the most anticipated parade of the year in New York. Thousands of families celebrated their blessings, notwithstanding the fears of terror attacks and the ongoing racial tensions over fatal police shootings all across the country.
Macy’s Annual Thanksgiving Day Parade, now in its 89th year, is one of the biggest events to take place in the populous city. It snakes through 2.5 miles of Manhattan with giant balloons and hundreds of participants, ushering in both the U.S. holiday season and the busiest time of year to travel.
Although the authorities claimed there were no credible threats against the city following the deadly Nov. 13 attacks in Paris, Police Commissioner William J. Bratton said that the department had stationed 2,500 officers, armed with rifles, along the parade route — the largest number of cops the city has ever assigned for the Thanksgiving festivities.
Needless to say, even heavy security did not dampen the spirit of the attendees, many of whom had traveled over from different cities to witness the signature parade.
“It's a little scary, but at least it's keeping us safe,” said Boston-resident Kim Miller, referring to the heavy security. “We're having fun.”
New York City officials said about 3.5 million spectators would turn out for the signature parade, while about 50 million people worldwide were expected to watch it on the Television.
“We live in a society of being fearful,” said another spectator Jacqueline Williams who was viewing the parade for the first time. “But it’s almost like you can’t be, because whatever’s going to happen is going to happen, you can’t stop it.”
“It's just a very special part of our holiday,” explained Pamela Popp, who came from Ridgefield, N.J., to watch the parade. “We're very proud of New York City and this wonderful tradition.”