Tag Archives: thanksgiving day parade

Winds Calm Down Right On Time for the Amazing Thanksgiving Day Parade

30 Nov

Let The Parade Begin

Written by: Albert Terc

Photos by: Albert Terc and Aluche_Events

 Anxious faces could be seen on the millions of faces along the parade route eager to see if the big balloons would fly this year. Wind gusts over 35 mph would ground the giant balloons from flying for safety reasons. The NYPD gave the green light one hour before the grand event kicked off although the balloons would have to fly low. The 93rd annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade took off from the West Side of Central Park where the huge balloons were inflated the night before.  Right on time, the first group of clowns came running out to greet the crowd and announce the start of the parade. The crowd cheered in unison as the fun was about to get started. A rhythmic drum beat could be heard approaching as the honorary lead marching band made their way up the parade route. The energetic Morgan State University Magnificent Marching Machine showed why they deserve top billing. They were top notch.


Astronauts Kay Hire and Janet Kavandi Introduce Astronaut Snoopy


Lead Band Morgan State Gets the Crowd Worked Up


R&B Superstar Kelly Rowland


The Mighty Power Ranger

     Kicking off the first of many of the famous giant balloons in the parade was a new entry. Astronauts Kay Hire and Janet Kavandi were on the Peanuts float helping introduce Astronaut Snoopy. He was a big hit and the kids just loved it.  Right behind was another balloon of flight, Jett by Super Wings led the way for the Ronald Reagan HS Marching Band from Texas to show off their moves. Singer Kelly Rowland was one of the many celebrities that greeted the crowd. She helped usher in one of the largest balloons of the parade, the Mighty Power Ranger. With his fist pointing towards the ground, I thought for sure he was going to take out a few balloon handlers. 


Chase on Duty


Black Eyed Peas


Lady Liberty Smiling At All Of Us


Goku at the Ready

     Bank robber clowns were scattering when the Chase from Paw Patrol giant balloon came after them. Paying tribute to Duke Ellington’s music was the elegant Franklin Regional HS Panther Band from Pennsylvania. They did a great job even though I though the rolling piano was going to wipe out a policeman. Celebrities Ozuna,  Billy Porter and Miss America Nia Franklin got the crowd really excited. Giant balloons Picachu and Diary of a Wimpy Kid were huge hits for the kids. The jungle themed Madison Central HS Marching Band from Kentucky kept the high energy going for the crowd. They helped introduce another new giant balloon entry, Green Eggs and Ham. It didn’t take much convincing that I do I do like green eggs and ham. Right behind them was another new giant balloon entry, Spongebob Squarepants and his buddy Gary.  Al the kids started chanting his name. That was fun.


Pikachu Having Some Fun


That Wimpy Kid Causing Trouble


I do like Green Eggs and Ham


Everyone’s Favorite Spongebob Squarepants and Gary

     The tribute to America section is always one of my favorites with cowboys and the Mt. Rushmore float. This year Chris Young was the honored celebrity. Starting off that section was the Martin Luther King Jr. HS Marching Band from Georgia with their high stepping and followed by the Blue Springs HS Marching Band from Missouri. They were amazing. Celebrities Ciara and Jimmy Fallon really got the crowd worked up. Another new float helped remind people to be careful when out in the woods. Smokey Bear was a hit with kids but an even bigger hit was the Trolls balloon with four characters clinging to each other.


Chris Young  and the Mt. Rushmore Float


Ashanti Waving to Her Fans


The Trolls Up to No Good


Jimmy Fallon Rocks the Parade

     The grand finale is reserved for the Christmas section with the giant Elf on the Shelf balloon letting everyone know there’s a visitor from up North coming down soon. Celebrity Lea Michele led the way on a float with a Central Park theme. Christmas music was played by the Western Carolina University Marching Band from North Carolina and the Catalina Foothills HS Marching Band from Arizona.  The Grinch That Stole Christmas giant balloon is always a big hit. Giant Olaf from the hit movie Frozen made his appearance. But everyone was still waiting for you know who… Meanwhile more Christmas themed floats and clowns got the crowd worked up. Toy soldiers on stilts, singing Christmas trees, and floating nutcracker balloons all set the stage for the big man…Santa Claus and his helpers. Big kids, little kids, all kinds of kids yelled hello to Santa. The big guy got up and waved to the crowd and opened his arms to give everyone an imaginary hug. Everyone was smiling and began to believe in the magic of Christmas.


Elf On the Shelf


The Grinch Looking For an Easy Target


Olaf Greets the Crowd


Santa Giving Out Free Hugs


     The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is always the best parade of the City. It shows just how magnificent a parade can be. Kids from 2 to 92 come out to enjoy the spectacular event that Macy’s displays. It truly is one of NYC’s best traditions. This was an amazing year of parades in NYC. Well over 10 million people attended some of the best parades of New York City. Thank you parade organizers for producing some of the best New York has to offer. Thank you marchers for coming out and bringing to life our values and traditions that go back  thousands of years. Thank you NYPD and FDNY for keeping us safe so we can enjoy these amazing events. Thank you reader and viewer for helping keep this blog going.

Happy Thanksgiving and  see you in 2020!!!!!


2020 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

Above Photos: Aluche_Events






Millions Brave Freezing Temps to Give Thanks at the Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade

24 Nov

Let’s Get This Party Started

     Arctic temperatures couldn’t stop the millions of fans from lining up the parade route from 77th St. and Central Park West all the way down to 34th St. in front of the Macy’s Herald Square flagship store. The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is the biggest parade in the city and always enjoyed by kids from 5 to 95. It was the coldest Thanksgiving in 100 years but that didn’t matter. Everyone was there to have a great time and be part of a New York tradition since 1924. With a large display of giant balloons, celebrities, and clowns, the grand spectacle is the premiere showcase that only Macy’s can pull off.


Paw Patrol On Duty


Dragon In Training


James Madison University MB Bringing It

     The parade features some of the top tier marching bands in country. This year the prestigious lead band came from Ohio State University. The frigid temperature had them marching double time just to keep warm. It seems as though this year had more celebrities than in previous years. Headliners included Diana Ross, John Legend, Martina McBride and a whole host of other performers. The parade also boasts the largest collection of clowns assembled for one event…other than a clown convention.


John Legend Waving to the Crowd


Goku Ready to Defend


What A Fun Celebration

     Some of the marching bands putting on a great show were the James Madison University Marching Band from Virginia. They were great and had a loud following from the crowd. Oregon sent some of their best in Grants Pass High School marching Band and Color Guard. The giant balloon of Charlie Brown made it’s way down the parade route soon followed by the Northstars from Syracuse NY.  There was a drum showdown between two excellent bands. It’s tough to decide which had the better drum section. Check out Riverside High School from California marching band and then the thunderous Homewood Patriot High School Marching Band from Alabama. They were both well instructed and on point for the parade.


NYC Landmarks Got In on the Action


Frosty as Frozen Olaf


That Nasty Grinch Up To No Good


     A few new balloons made their grand entrance to the parade. Goku, from Dragonball Z fame floated in over 56 feet tall and 70 feet long. All kids were watching in amazement at the giant balloon. The Netflix film,  The Christmas Chronicles,  had characters Fleck, Jojo, Bjorn and Hugg airing it out in novelty balloons. They were fun. Hope to see them next year. Everyone’s favorite Mr. Grinch and Spongebob Squarepants always get the loudest applause. The tail end of the parade is dedicated to the Christmas season with lots of elves and Christmas themed floats gathering anticipation for the last float carrying Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus waving to the crowd. It’s always a special part of the parade to watch kids of all ages smiling and waving to Santa Claus.


     This years NYC parade line up was amazing. Tens of millions of revelers attended this years parades in the greatest city ever created. In a city with such a diverse population, the fact that all these parades can go on without problems or protests shows just how strong a city we have. Thanks to the parade organizers and volunteers that dedicated their time to produce events that keep the star shining on top of this beaming metropolis. Thanks to the NYPD for keeping everyone safe and FDNY for responding quickly to any emergencies, and Sanitation for cleaning up. Thanks to all the marching bands for the endless rehearsals and making the parades festive. And thanks to you the reader that helps keep this blog going. Thank you. It’s been a blast.

Written by: Albert Terc

Photos by: Albert Terc


                   Have a great holiday season and a safe and Happy New Year!!


New Balloons Steal the Show At The Thanksgiving Day Parade

24 Nov

Olaf Greeting the Crowd

     The tell tale signs that Winter is coming was seen in the faces of the well over 2 million people lined up for the greatest parade in NYC. Frosty temperatures couldn’t stop the crowd visiting from all over the globe to see great marching bands, the famous large balloons, celebrities and hundreds of clowns. The 91st annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade starts on the upper West Side and makes its way down 6th Ave. towards Herald Square in front of Macy’s where the parade is broadcast to millions all across the world. It’s a grand finale to a year of some great parades in the City. With extra security in place, parade revelers felt relieved with the visible presence.  This year the honorary lead band was from Prairie View A&M Marching Storm. They got things started with blaring brass sections and precision marching. They really got the crowd worked up for what would be a morning of gratitude and fun for kids from 5 to 95.


Gulfport In The House


Super Wings Jett Ready to Take Off


Chase the Happy Pooch


     There were plenty of celebrities to perform and wave to the adoring crowd including legendary music icons Patti LaBelle and Smokey Robinson. The parade showcases some of the top marching bands in the country. A nice treat was the Nations Ford HS MB from Fort Mill, South Carolina. Everyone stared in amazement at the huge balloons that are as big as houses.  Sending a reminder to everyone of the chilly temperature was Olaf, a huge balloon from a character in the blockbuster hit Frozen. The regular balloon participants made their way along the 2.5 mile parade route. Ronald McDonald, the Red Power Ranger and Charlie Brown are among the tallest balloons ranging up to 50 feet tall and need about 90 handlers to make sure the huge balloons don’t wander off into the crowd.  Another marching band from Trumbull CT, the Golden Eagles soared with high notes and precision.  A really friendly band came up from West Harrison HS Gulfport, MS. They had a fun time and brought their Southern hospitality with them. The Ohio University MB had a great drum line that really got the crowd worked up.


Patti LaBelle Having Fun with the Crowd


Patriotic Clowns


Spongebob Squarepants and his Clowns


     The parade has the largest collection of clowns on the planet. They all greeted the crowd with  joyful exuberance especially the kids that were being thrilled with the spectacle that only Macy’s can create. Once the huge Elf On the Shelf balloon appeared that was everyone’s clue that the grand finale was about to happen. Everyone looks forward to Rudolph and Co. hauling a sled with the one and only Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus waving to the crowd. The kids and adults all loved it.


NYPD Marching Band Enjoying Their Turn


Grinch Looking For Trouble


Santa and Mrs. Claus with Rudolph Leading the Way


     There was plenty to be thankful this year. Thanks to all the parade organizers for continuing their traditions and passing it on to the next generation. Thanks to all the marchers that created great costumes and banners. Thanks to all the marching bands that rehearsed for endless hours to get the song and march right for us to enjoy. Thanks to all the NYPD and FDNY and Sanitation that helped keep us safe and ready for emergencies and clean up after the festive events. And thank you the reader and viewer for helping keep this blog going.

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It Really Is the Most Wonderful Time of the Year


Going Retro at the Thanksgiving Day Parade

25 Nov

Felix the Cat

The final parade of the year is always the best one. Millions of fans lined up early along the parade route to catch a glimpse of the giant character balloons, celebrities, floats, great marching bands and hundreds of clowns. Macy’s has put on a show of shows for the last 90 years every Thanksgiving Day and this year’s theme was going back in time with one of the original balloons, Felix the Cat. This year, the weather held up great with little wind to speak of and the expected light showers held off just until Santa Claus made his grand entrance at Herald Square. Folks come from all corners of the world to march and perform on the great stage where millions of viewers watch the unique American holiday.


West Virginia University Marching Band


Charlie Brown Kicking things off


Thomas the Train

Kicking things off was the lead band from West Virginia University with blue yellow and white uniforms. This parade is famous for its ensemble of great marching bands from all across the country. Fans were not disappointed with the tight precision and crisp sound from all the marching bands. Hard to tell which ones were on the top tier…they were all excellent. The first of the big balloons floating his way down 6th Ave. was Charlie Brown. Snoopy was in the doghouse this year but Charlie Brown and the Peanuts gang got all the kids riled up for a great day of fun. Sesame Street and Company had a great float as always but the Oscar the Grouch was rude to me and slammed the garbage lid on me while taking his picture. Two of the largest balloons arrived with Thomas the Train tooting his horn and Ronald McDonald greeting all the kids. The next marching band hailed from Florida in the Newsome Marching Band. They were all pumped up to be at the parade.


Paddington Bear


Power Up!!


West Point Academy Marching Band

Giant balloons of the Paddington Bear and the Red Power Ranger made all the kids from 95 to 5 all go wow at how big they were. Power Rangers arm alone is the size of a school bus. They were followed by the Cary Indiana High School Marching Band.  All throughout the parade, hundreds of clowns greet the viewers and wish them all a Happy Thanksgiving. It really is the largest collection of clowns for any event..except maybe for Congress.  One of the grown up marching bands always leaves a great impression mostly because of their uniform is the West Point Academy Marching Band. They were sharp. But on the other end of the spectrum was the fun Hawaii All State Marching Band. They were having lots of fun and played great. One of the newest giant balloons made its premier. The Trolls balloons were amazing with a colorful display. They were followed by the international section with groups from China and Armenia with their colorful costumes and energetic dancing.



Skylanders Eruptor Balloon


One heck of a Wimpy Kid


Drumlines always make for a great marching band and the better ones were from Grain Valley in Missouri, the Prospect Marching Knights from Illinois, Hendrickson Hawks from Texas,   and a slight edge going to the Greendale Marching Band from Wisconsin. They really had a strong drumline. Once the giant Spongebob Squarepants float arrived, the parade switched gears from Thanksgiving themed floats to Christmas floats. A few of the better ones were with singer Sarah Mclachlan and the three level floats with the Elf on the Shelf balloon carefully watching over them. Of course, it’s always great to see a living legend wish all his fans a Happy Thanksgiving. Tony Bennett waved to everyone as he passed by. Then the big moment finally arrived as the three floating elves let everyone know Mr. and Mrs. Claus were right behind them. To watch the eyes shine from all the kids and adults is one of the best things about this parade.


Angry Bird


Happy Elves


Sarah Mclachlan and crew

This year had some of the best parades the city has seen. From freezing weather in the Chinese Lunar New Year to St. Patrick’s Day to the Greek Independence to the sizzling hot Mermaid and the Puerto Rican Day Parades to the West Indian and Hispanic Day Parades to the chilly Halloween and Veterans and Thanksgiving Day Parade….this was an amazing year for parades. Thank you for all the marchers and revelers in making this all possible. Thank you NYPD and FDNY for protecting us and responding to any emergencies. Thank you all parade organizers for your endless work in making these events a pleasure and an honor to be a part of. And thank you, the reader and viewer for taking a small part of your day to see what really makes America great.


Jolly Santa on His Way


Happy Thanksgiving..Merry Christmas…and See You in the New Year.


Millions Come Out to Give Thanks

28 Nov


     IMG_3939     The unusually warm and calm weather was just perfect for the millions lined up on the parade route to see the popular huge balloons at the 89th annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Heightened security helped give the revelers from ages 1 to 99 a sense of comfort although some anxiety was evident when a FDNY truck blared their sirens to rush to an emergency away from the parade route. After that temporary interruption, there was no stopping the fun and excitement that comes along with best parade in the city. With over 50 million people watching worldwide, the fun was just getting started when newbie balloon Ice Age’s Scratch made his way down the parade route. The balloon handlers got the crowd worked up by starting a Scratch chant. One of the best things about this parade is the hundreds of clowns going around making people laugh and have a memorable experience. But what really sets this parade apart is the line up of great marching bands. Starting up the list of bands was the Stephen F. Austin marching band from Texas.


      One of the largest balloons to make its appearance was the Diary of a Wimpy Kid balloon soon followed by the Cavalier Marching Band of the University of Virginia. Another of the larger balloons made all the kids gaze in amazement. The Red Power Ranger was greeted by the adoring crowd. Florida sent the Gulf Coast HS Shark MB from Naples. They were pretty good but they were just warming things up for the Munford HS MB from Tennessee. The NYPD sent their marching band preceding the Policeman float. I heard a few people giving thanks to the police officers for helping to keep them safe. With all the horrible events that recently happened in Paris, it’s a reminder the world can be a dangerous place at times. The police have a tough job and most times goes unappreciated…but not today. People gave thanks.  The international section was next with dancing groups from India and China waving to the crowd. Plenty of sea creatures were seen just before one of the more popular floats made its appearance…Spongebob Squarepants. Quite fitting was a big pirate ship followed by a retread of an older balloon..the pirate balloon. Even the big Red Angry Bird balloon couldn’t get this crowd upset. They were all about having fun. A really nice pairing was the FDNY Pipes and Drum band blaring their bagpipes ahead of the Fireman balloon.


Saving the best marching bands for last were the North Hardin HS MB from Kentucky only to be outdone by the West Chester Golden Rams from Pennsylvania.  They had a good time working the crowd. The most energetic of all the bands has to go to The University of Illinois Marching Illini. They were amazing and the crowd showed their love and appreciation. Then all the Christmas themed floats appeared. All came by in anticipation of the Big Daddy himself…Santa Claus with Mrs. Claus and all their elf helpers. It was great to see all the kids smiling and waving to Santa. Before you know it Christmas will be here and it will be time for family, friends, and the joy the holiday brings. But for now, the crowd dispersed to their destination to enjoy a day of thanks, good food and good times.


This was one of the best years for parades in NYC. Thousands of people came from all parts of the world to celebrate with NYers. Thanks to all the parade organizers and volunteers that made these parades so much fun to be a part of and record their history. Thanks to the NYPD for keeping everyone safe and clear of any danger. And thanks to you the reader for keeping this blog going. It has been an honor and privilege to be part of this endeavor. See you next year.

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.









































Winds Let Up At the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

30 Nov
Papa Smurf at the Parade

Papa Smurf Rocks the Parade

The biggest worry on the ice-cold Thanksgiving morning was if the winds would die down enough for the big balloons to fly. A trademark of the parade and a fan favorite of every kid from 2 to 92, the larger balloons were flown a little lower to the ground just in case the wind gusts created any serious problems. For the first time in its 87 year history, opening the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade were a group of robots created by students from Texas. I know plenty of kids wishing to spend an hour with the robot with the basketballs to see who has a better corner jump shot.   Once the giant float with the pilgrims riding on top a huge turkey passed by, everyone knew the parade was under way. The largest collegiate marching band in the country, James Madison University Marching Band from Harrisonburg, Virginia kicked things off. The first of the many giant balloons made its appearance with newcomer Woodstock riding on top of a flying Snoopy giving him directions so they don’t bump into any tall buildings. Right on Snoopy’s tail was the tall and majestic Sonic balloon. The Miss Kitty balloon flew with minor turbulence but did manage to navigate her way safely.  A tropical group full of parrots and giraffes lead the way for the monkey float with Julius. Fitness guru, Richard Simmons, was a hit for the older crowd that remembered his light-hearted antics from the 80s and 90s. He hasn’t changed one bit. The Union HS Marching Band from Tulsa, OK were a big hit among the marching bands. A more serious looking band followed them as the US Marine Corp Band kicked it up a notch.

Snoopy carries Woodstock for a ride

Snoopy carries Woodstock for a ride

Sonic racing towards the finish line

Sonic racing towards the finish line

Julius puts on a Show

Julius puts on a Show

A newcomer and quite appropriate giant balloon flew by with kids singing the cartoon favorite’s theme song. Spongebob Squarepants flew on by while holding on to his red Santa hat in case it flew off with a wind gust. Following the crowd favorite was a fun and energetic  marching band from Tarpon Springs. They were amazing and had to march a little faster as one of the biggest giant balloons was gaining on them. The huge black dragon from the blockbuster hit “How To Train Your Dragon” made its first appearance at this parade. Quite impressive. A fun-dressed marching band from Ooltewah Tennessee led the way for a new balloon representing the Wizard of Oz movie. The coolest part of that group was a basket carrying the Grand Wizard of Oz underneath the giant balloon…much like the scene in the film. Crowd favorite Spiderman made his way down the parade route on 6th Ave, however his left arm was a little limp as it got punctured by a tree at the start of the parade by Central Park West.

Spongebob saving his hat

Spongebob saving his hat

Newcomer Dragon puts a scare to the crowd

Newcomer Dragon puts a scare to the crowd

Fun Band from Tennessee

Fun Band from Tennessee

The big Apple float carried some sports legends including former NFL players Amani Toomer,  Hines Ward, Bart Oates, and Joe Namath who personally guaranteed everyone would have fun at the parade. There are hundreds of clowns at this parade and one of the better ones are the cops and robbers clowns. They always get the crowd worked up with their antics. The best of the best marching bands from UMass blew the crowd away with their tight march and loud music. Fireman clowns and cute dalmatians arrived just ahead of the fireman giant balloon. Younger kids really cheered on the Despicable Me float with the movie characters working the crowd. Plenty of cupcake and cookie clowns walked on by just ahead of the huge Doughboy balloon. The Toro Marching Band from Arizona was impressive but had to march faster because new entry balloon Finn and Jake were a bit out of control but no need to fear. Right behind them was the Buzz Lightyear giant balloon to save the day from any danger. The parade was winding down as there were many elves looking to help any one they could.  Giant balloon Virginia carrying a letter with a wish list for Santa let everyone know the big moment was soon at hand. But first another character with long white hair had to make his appearance. None other than Papa Smurf floated on by to the delight of the crowd. That high energy worked its way into the last of the marching bands in the Great American Band.  Then the moment everyone was waiting for arrived. The huge float with reindeer on top with Santa and Mrs. Claus waving to crowd. Looking at the wonder in the eyes of the children around me was heartwarming and brings out the kid in everyone.

UMass Band blew away the crowd

UMass Band blew away the crowd

Dalmatian howling it up

Dalmatian howling it up

Doughboy cooking up some fun

Doughboy cooking up some fun

Jake and Finn chased by Buzz Lightyear

Jake and Finn chased by Buzz Lightyear

This parade closes out what was an amazing parade year. From the start of the year with the Chinese Lunar Year to St. Patrick’s to the Mermaid to the Puerto Rican to Labor Day to Halloween to Veterans Day it was one of the best parade years I have witnessed. Thanks to the NYPD for keeping the millions of people watching the parades safe. Thanks to the parade organizers and marchers for making this a memorable year for so many people. And thanks to you the reader for keeping this labor of love going strong. See you next year.

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Let the good times come

Let the good times come

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