High-flying balloon characters star in Thanksgiving parade

NEW YORK (AP) — Throngs of spectators lined the streets of New York on Thursday as colourful, high-flying balloons helped usher in the vacation season in the course of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

The annual custom, which dates again almost a century, packed streets as a procession of big inflatables and floats streamed for greater than 40 blocks from Central Park to Herald Square.

Children balanced atop metallic barricades and hung from scaffolding to look at the balloons amid largely sunny skies and a slight breeze.

“Blue, Blue. There’s Blue,” yelled Divyam Kumar, 6, as his father helped stability him and his 4-year-old brother Aanu Aryan on a metallic rail.

The teen was referring to the star of the animated present “Blue’s Clues” — not to be confused with the international cartoon sensation Bluey, an Australian cattle pup making her parade debut.

Bluey’s balloon towered as tall as a four-story building and stretched as wide as seven taxi cabs.

Stuart, the one-eyed Minion, was also there to thrill the crowd.

But it was Snoopy that especially caught the eye of Brenner Chenenko, 8, even more so than the more contemporary pups.

“It’s one of the classics,” said the youngster from Rochester, New York, who lined the parade route with his father Nate and grandfather John Wopperer.

It was the first time the father and son had seen the parade in person. Wopperer last saw a parade live three years ago, before the pandemic sidelined the event for a year.

Snoopy, dressed as an astronaut, was followed by another old-time favorite, Papa Smurf.

This year’s parade featured 16 giant balloons, 28 floats, 40 novelty and heritage inflatables, 12 marching bands, 10 performance groups, 700 clowns and one Santa Claus.

The procession of characters were joined by singer Paula Abdul, in her first parade appearance; indie pop band Fitz and the Tantrums; boy band Big Time Rush; “Blue’s Clues & You!” host Josh Dela Cruz; singer Gloria Estefan; gospel singer Kirk Franklin; actor Mario Lopez; reggae star Ziggy Marley; and Miss America 2022 Emma Broyles.

Singers Joss Stone, Jordin Sparks and Betty Who have been additionally a part of the festivities, as have been the celebs of Peacock’s “Pitch Perfect: Bumper in Berlin” — Adam Devine, Sarah Hyland and Flula Borg. Jimmy Fallon & The Roots have been on a float celebrating Central Park.

President Biden and Jill Biden known as into the parade, as he did final yr. Biden thanked firefighters, law enforcement officials and first responders, saying, “They never take a break.”

They thanked the troops and Biden mentioned he could be reaching out to talk to some as we speak.

Asked about their plans for the day in Nantucket, Massachusetts, the Bidens mentioned it could contain household, and a while spent regionally, thanking first responders.

In Plymouth, Massachusetts, the English settlement based by the Pilgrims who arrived on the Mayflower, two annual occasions have been being held to embrace “all aspects” of the vacation, city officers mentioned.

Costumed members have been re-enacting their annual Thanksgiving Day “Pilgrim Progress” procession, representing the 51 survivors of that first brutal winter of 1621 — though Thursday’s crew had higher situations, with sunny skies and temperatures in the 40s.

There additionally was a “National Day of Mourning” honoring indigenous ancestors and protesting in opposition to racism and oppression. “We are not vanquishing, We are not conquered, We are as strong as ever,” an indication behind the audio system learn.


Associated Press reporters Deepti Hajela and Kathy McCormack contributed to this story.

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