Millions Gobble Up a Thanksgiving Parade in Grand Style

24 Nov

   There’s only one parade in NYC that reaches so many people around the globe and brings so many people together in one common theme – a time of reflecting and being thankful. The grand spectacle of the 85th Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade was set to get under way starting at 77th St. and Central Park West and zigzag its way through some of the famous sights of NYC until it reached the flagship Macy’s store at Herald Square. With over 3.5 million people crammed along the 2 mile parade, this was sure to be one of the best parades of the year and it certainly was. The parade lineup included over 800 clowns, 15 giant balloons, 44 novelty balloons, 11 marching bands, 27 floats, and a wide variety of celebrities and group performers.  Rachel and I met by Columbus Circle where the event was being telecast to over 50 million viewers worldwide. The mass of humanity lined up for the parade was eagerly anticipating the first group and balloons.  Children of all ages from 2 to 92 saw the Macy’s Great American Marching Band lead the parade and introduce the first of many great balloons. Newcomer Sonic the Hedgehog made his grand appearance to the parade and the crowd just went nuts. The Cooking Channel float of Tom the Turkey had pilgrims riding on top and they set the stage for one of the largest of all the giant balloons this year, the Diary of a Wimpy Kid balloon. Rachel and I decided to make our way to Times Square and were followed by some cops and robbers chasing each other around that got the crowd worked up.

     

                                       

     Dalmatians and fireman announced the Fireman balloon followed by the Dobyns-Bennett Marching band of Tennessee and the ever popular Buzz Lightyear balloon.  Celebrity Cee Lo Green made his way down the parade route while playing his mega hit “Forget You”.  Rachel and I moved further down the parade route by Bryant Park where the crowd was even larger and louder. They chanted loudly for the Pillsbury Doughboy and Freida the Dachshund and even sang theme song for Spongebob Squarepants. A big crowd pleaser was the “Na Koa Ali “i” Hawaii All State Marching Band. The Power Rangers thrilled the crowd with acrobatic moves. I was glad the Pink Power Ranger didn’t high kick me after she ran into me by accident since I would have missed the Kung Fu Panda balloon. The Carmel HS Marching Band broke up the balloon procession followed by Paul Frank’s newcomer to the parade Julius the Monkey. One of the most creative floats carried New York star pitcher Joba Chamberlain. He was carried on a large turtle float playing Native American music representing his heritage. Joba is one of three active Native Americans playing in the Major Leagues.  The elder statesman of the giant balloons came soaring in. Flight Ace Snoopy made his first appearance in 1968 and was followed by the Peanut gallery. While soon after the remarkable Homewood Patriot Band from Alabama played their hearts out. My personal favorite part was when Neil Diamond rolled by on a Mount Rushmore float singing my daughter Carol’s favorite song, “Sweet Caroline”. The patriotic tone kept building up when a huge Uncle Sam balloon appeared followed by some of the loudest cheers for our war veterans.

                      

     The NYC Police band introduced a crowd favorite. Heads were spinning while the Spiderman balloon weaved its way through the skyscrapers of 6th Ave. Another crowd pleaser was the Nation Ford HS Marching Band from South Carolina. They were awesome. A highly anticipated Tim Burton novelty balloon boy “B.” made his first ever appearance onto 6th Ave. The pride of Michigan came next in the Plymouth-Canton Marching Band soon to be followed by the incredible Build-A-Bear float and the Cutest Miss Kitty giant balloon. Colorado’s Legacy Marching Band helped to introduce the Clumsy Smurf giant balloon. A Victorian style float with the popular Straight No Chaser group led the way for a novelty Virginia balloon. One of the longest giant balloons belonged to a crowd favorite and star of the new Muppet movie, Kermit the Frog. Miami’s Marching Band brought the funk with their rendition of  Jimi Hendrix’ “Fire”.  At a distance I could see two huge red “Believe” balloons which could only mean one thing…Santa Claus was in town.  Mr. and Mrs. Claus with their reindeer and all their elf helpers rode past to the cheer of the crowd closing out the best parade in NYC.  Rachel and I met right after Santa rode by and we couldn’t help notice all the smiling faces of the huge crowd.  This parade brings out the child in all of us and returns us to a time of innocence and anticipation of the upcoming holiday season where we couldn’t wait to open our gifts on Christmas Day. But for now, most of the crowd made their way back home to family or friends to give thanks for what was most important of all–Life!

  

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!!

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!!

Quick Note:   This year’s journey covering parades in NYC has been an incredible experience beyond my wildest expectations. I met a number of amazing people from the city and all parts of the world in an attempt to capture part of the New York experience.  First I wish to thank my partner in crime, Rachel, who helped make this idea a reality and took some outstanding photos of each of the events.  I wish to thank the Mayor of New York, the Honorable Mayor Michael Bloomberg for all his efforts in making this year’s parade season one of the best. Thanks to the Community Boards throughout the city for coordinating the events in the different boroughs. Thanks to the police for their watchful eye in keeping us safe at all times. Thanks to all the parade organizers whose tireless work provided New Yorker’s and tourists with indelible memories of the parades. Thanks to all the artists and volunteers that gave their free time to come and express their work and help make it possible. Thanks to the over 8 million parade revelers that came out to support their family and friends throughout the year and finally to the reader for taking the time to view our work and be a living part of the freedom and expression that makes this the greatest country in the world.

Albert Terc

 http://www.demotix.com//node/939806

http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-708184

http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-708709

http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-708774

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