Thursday, November 26, 2015

Amid Tight Security, Millions Turn Out for Macy's Thanksgiving Parade (VIDEO)

Most excellent.

At WSJ, "Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Draws Millions":

Extra police officers lined the route of the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on Thursday, but the most visible first responder of the day was a firefighter: Harold, a 32-foot-tall balloon, guided by a contingent of New York’s Bravest.

With the Fire Department of New York celebrating its 150th anniversary, the department sent firefighters, paramedics, emergency medical technicians, fire inspectors and dispatchers to guide Harold from Manhattan’s Upper West Side down to Macy’s flagship store at 34th Street.

Among those holding Harold’s ropes were Mike Prior, of Merrick, N.Y., and his three sons, who are all firefighters.

For the Priors, the parade was a rare chance to collaborate, as on most days they are spread throughout the city. J.T., 28 years old, works in East New York; Kristian, 32, in Crown Heights; Matt, 36, in South Jamaica; and Mike, 62, works in Corona.

“It’s great, just being with my family,” said Kristian, who held the rope attached to Harold’s right heel.

The firefighter balloon was accompanied by a 1924 Ford Model T firetruck and the FDNY Pipes & Drums to celebrate the anniversary.

More than 3 million New Yorkers and visitors lined the parade route for the annual event, Macy’s said.

At a news conference before the parade began, Mayor Bill de Blasio said the turnout was evidence that New Yorkers wouldn't be intimidated by acts of terrorism abroad.

“The people of this city are voting with their feet,” he said.

In a lighter moment, the mayor joked that there is a tie for his favorite balloon: Snoopy and Underdog, who he said was “an inspiration for my political career.”

Police Commissioner William Bratton said Wednesday he believed the New York Police Department was sending a record 2,500 officers to the parade. Their presence was noticeable along the city blocks packed with families, as well as in the parade itself when a van containing armed personnel drove down Sixth Avenue.

Among those on the sidewalks for a view of the festivities was Orly Epstein, a 7-year-old who lives with her family on the Upper West Side.

“I think it’s the best parade so far,” she said. Her favorite balloon was Scrat, a saber-toothed squirrel from the “Ice Age” animated film franchise, a new addition to the 2015 parade...