Having been hit by the coronavirus pandemic final yr, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade returned yesterday, however the proceedings had been nonetheless tempered by precautions.
Balloons, floats, marching bands, clowns and performers – and, in fact, Santa Claus – made their manner alongside 4km of Manhattan streets, as a substitute of being confined to 1 block final yr.
Spectators, shut out in 2020, might line the route once more amid tight safety. Highschool and faculty marching bands from across the nation had been invited again to the line-up; most of final yr’s performers had been regionally primarily based to chop down on journey.
The enormous balloons, tethered to automobiles final yr, had been getting their costumed handlers again.
“Final yr was clearly symbolic. It wasn’t the whole lot we might have favored to see in a parade, however they stored it going,” Mayor Invoice de Blasio stated.
“This yr, the parade’s again at full power.”
The Thanksgiving parade is the newest US vacation occasion to make a comeback as vaccines, familiarity and sheer frustration made officers and a few of the public extra snug with large gatherings amid the continued pandemic.
Nonetheless, security measures continued. Parade staffers and volunteers needed to be vaccinated in opposition to Covid-19 and put on masks, though some singers and performers might shed them.
The occasion additionally comes days after an SUV driver ploughed by a Christmas parade in suburban Milwaukee, killing six individuals and injuring over 60. Authorities stated the motive force, who has been charged with intentional murder, was fleeing after a home dispute.
Mr De Blasio stated there was no credible, particular menace to the Thanksgiving parade, however the New York Police Division’s safety measures had been intensive, as regular.
“I’m very assured in what the NYPD has ready to maintain everybody protected,” he stated. 1000’s of cops had been assigned to the parade route, from streets to rooftops. Automobiles had been blocked from the parade route with sand-filled rubbish vans, different heavy automobiles and roughly 163,000kg of concrete boundaries.
Bomb-detecting canines, bomb squad officers, heavy-weapons groups, radiation and chemical sensors and over 300 further cameras had been additionally being dispatched to the parade route, NYPD Chief of Counterterrorism Martine Materasso stated.