Macy's Thanksgiving Parade Ushers in Holiday Season

Bidens called in to annual NYC event
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 24, 2022 11:25 AM CST
Macy's Thanksgiving Parade Ushers in Holiday Season
The Pillsbury Doughboy floats down Central Park Avenue West during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022, in New York.   (AP Photo/Julia Nikhinson)

Throngs of spectators lined the streets of New York on Thursday as colorful, high-flying balloons helped usher in the holiday season during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. The annual tradition, which dates back nearly a century, packed streets as a procession of giant inflatables and floats streamed for more than 40 blocks from Central Park to Herald Square. Children balanced atop metal barricades and hung from scaffolding to watch the balloons amid mostly sunny skies and a slight breeze. "Blue, Blue. There's Blue," yelled Divyam Kumar, 6, as his father helped balance him and his 4-year-old brother on a metal rail. The youngster was referring to the star of the animated show 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 AP reports.

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 were also part of the festivities, as were the stars of Peacock’s Pitch Perfect: Bumper in Berlin— Adam Devine, Sarah Hyland and Flula Borg. Jimmy Fallon & The Roots were on a float celebrating Central Park. President Biden and Jill Biden called into the parade. Biden thanked firefighters, police officers, and first responders, saying, "They never take a break."

(Read more Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade stories.)

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