Archive | November, 2014

New Balloons Soar High at the Thanksgiving Day Parade

28 Nov

Here comes Spiderman

Here comes Spiderman

The overcast chilly weather couldn’t stop the millions of spectators to come out early Thanksgiving Day and watch the many great balloons, the hundreds of themed clowns, a fine cast of celebrities, and some of the best marching bands in the country perform. Celebrating the 88th annual Macys Thanksgiving Parade included a star filled line-up with the likes of Nick Jonas, William Blake, Idina Menzel, rock legends KISS and a whole host of other music performers. Televised globally, the parade is the precursor to the upcoming holiday season. The beginning of the parade this year showcased the largest marching of the parade coming in from Western Carolina University with hundreds of band members getting the crowd worked up for what would be a fun-filled day.
Nick Jonas

Nick Jonas

The first float to appear was Tom the Turkey float with this years first celebrity, cooking personality Sandra Lee. But most people had their sights on the first of many large balloons to float on by. Thomas the Tank Engine made his first appearance in the parade followed by more celebrity filled floats and some great marching bands. The Bahamian All Star Marching Band really made a splash at the parade. A new float celebrating baseball was a big hit since it displayed a large screen with cameras focused on parade spectators. The Hello Kitty balloon got the kids worked up for a favorite celebrity, Nick Jonas. The Paddington Bear balloon was also new to the parade and really looked detailed with soft hair. A definite show stealer were the Red Hot Mamas trying to give the Rockettes a run for their money. The next hour was the best part of the parade with huge balloons making kids from 2 to 99 say a great big Wow. One of the most impressive was newcomer Red Power Ranger coming to the rescue. One of the biggest balloons brought many smiles and some scary faces if your afraid of big black dragons that is. Newcomer Erupter from Skylanders was pretty cool to look at. Then everyone’s favorite creepy crawler floated by ready to weave a web and catch the bad guys. Superhero Spiderman looked ready to take on any villain.

One of the best pairings of the parade was when legendary rock band Kiss was on a float just before the Finn and Jake balloon. The scary look on Finn’s face might have been because Kiss terrified him. One of the better bands came in from Georgia State University and they really got the crowd worked up with a crazy drummer getting into their version of the Neil Diamond classic, Sweet Caroline. The parade theme started to change from Thanksgiving to Christmas with the Foothills Falcons Marching Band playing themed music and some floats and balloons that got everyone waiting in anticipation for the grand finale. But first one of most impressive of all bands which was not really a band wowed the crowd. The all-male Madison Scouts Drum and Bugle Corp. showed why they are one of the premier drum and bugle corps in the nation. All the kids got excited when their favorite cartoon character left his pineapple home under the sea, none other than SpongeBob Squarepants. Having the best time of any group were the Elves jumping up and down with lots of energy getting ready to introduce the main man, Santa Claus. I lost count of how many adults took selfies with Santa in the background. Everywhere I looked there were smiles galore and kids waving for his attention even the big kids.
This year’s menu of parades was amazing… beginning with the fortunate Chinese Lunar New Year (missed a major snowstorm by a day), the oldest parade in the country; St. Patrick’s Day parade, the young but vibrant Dance parade, the loud and proud Puerto Rican and Dominican parades, the loving LBGT Pride parade, the whacky Mermaid parade, the largest and most colorful Labor Day parade, the insightful African-American parade, the cultural Hispanic and spicy Italian Heritage parade, the scariest Halloween parade, the Nation’s Veterans parade and breathtaking Thanksgiving parades were a continuing preservation of culture, history and creativity of the greatest city on the planet. It was my honor and privilege to witness and chronicle these important events. First I wanted to give thanks to the parade organizers for their tireless work in making these parades possible. Thanks to the hundreds of thousands of volunteers and marchers, especially the marching bands. Thanks to the NYPD for keeping everyone safe. And especially thanks to you the reader for keeping this blog going.









































Garden of Delights Thrill at the Village Halloween Parade

2 Nov
Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween


     The parade route along 6th Ave in the Village was filled with hundreds of thousands of night crawlers anticipating the start of the biggest Halloween party in the country. Now celebrating its 41st year, the parade has grown into international notoriety with groups coming in from Spain and Mexico just to march up and make it a hell of a party. As usual, the parade started with angels imparting blessings to the massive crowd while spreading their magical pixie dust. The once busy commercial 6th Ave. would be transformed to a place of enchantment and horror all in a few hours of sheer madness. One of the many reasons the parade is so popular are the many puppets displayed at the beginning of the parade… from skeletons with Beats headphones to scary pumpkins to multi-colored 30 ft. snakes offering apples to the crowd.  The puppets were truly amazing and got the crowd worked up for what would be a thrilling night. This years theme of the Garden of Earthly Delights was presented right after the skeleton puppets when some butterfly puppets and a variety of garden flowers, mushrooms, and plants made way for the largest puppet of the parade…the Tree of Life. Master puppeteers Alex Kahn and Sophia Michahelles went all out this year with this years theme. What made it even more impressive was adding the combination of the smoking hot all-female drum band Batala with their rhythmic beat. Well played.

Batala jamming

Batala jamming

Tree of Life

Tree of Life

Royal Pumpkin

Royal Pumpkin


     All you need is a costume to march in the parade but New Yorkers just don’t put on any costume and call it a day. New Yorkers once again showed their creativity with some of the scariest and craziest costumes found anywhere in the country and I have the pictures to prove it.  But the parade is not just about costumes. It’s a huge party with lots of marching bands and dancing. One of the dancing groups that got the crowd worked up was the Broadway Bodies dancers. They got the crowd worked up for a crowd favorite…the Thriller dance group. They killed it this year. A special treat this year was the Day of the Dead commemoration float with memorials of those shining stars that passed on this year. Following right behind was this years Grand Marshall, Whoopi Goldberg, waving to all her fans. One of the better party floats got the crowd worked up with their club music even after I was attacked by a crazy zombie nurse.

Day of the Dead Float

Day of the Dead Float

Whoopi Goldberg Whooping It Up

Whoopi Goldberg Whooping It Up

The Wedding Party

The Wedding Party


    A marching band that came all the way from Puebla, Mexico set the tone for the wildest float of the parade with aliens playing and dancing to swing. They were one of the best parts of the parade. The Star Wars Jedi club broke out their lightsabers and dueled their way up 6th Ave. They were soon followed by Darth Vader and the Princess with a few Sandpeople in the mix. The locally televised event was a big hit this year with lots of energy and lots of fun had by all. Scare ya next year.

IMG_6417 IMG_6421 IMG_6439 IMG_6453 IMG_6455 IMG_6457 IMG_6458 IMG_6460 IMG_6484 IMG_6490 IMG_6491 IMG_6493 IMG_6494 IMG_6498 IMG_6504 IMG_6507 IMG_6508 IMG_6511 IMG_6513 IMG_6515 IMG_6518 IMG_6522 IMG_6534 IMG_6539 IMG_6541 IMG_6542 IMG_6547 IMG_6552 IMG_6561 IMG_6566 IMG_6583 IMG_6590 IMG_6592 IMG_6596 IMG_6597 IMG_6602 IMG_6607 IMG_6608 IMG_6609 IMG_6610 IMG_6619 IMG_6621 IMG_6622 IMG_6623 IMG_6624 IMG_6626S1000229S1000237S1000231S1000235S1000238S1000243S1000244S1000283S1000279S1000265S1000264S1000252S1000250S1000248S1000246S1000245S1000287S1000292S1000297S1000301S1000306S1000310S1000312S1000330S1000341S1000343S1000344S1000350S1000352S1000358S1000366S1000367S1000369S1000371

%d bloggers like this: