Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade returns with full crowds for the first time in 2 years

Local News

NEW YORK — The 95th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade went off with barely a hitch, making it far more reminiscent of the 93rd parade, rather than last year’s.  

The 2020 parade was a three block-long affair, closed to the public, due to COVID concerns. One year — and three vaccines — later, the public was welcomed back, and they packed the 2 1/2-mile long parade route, 20 people deep, in some places. 

Leresa Richards of Alexandria, Virginia, and many parade goers, like her expressed deep gratitude.

“We can get together as a family,” she said, beaming. “This year, more families are able to see each other.”

Suzanne Garrell, a Vermont resident who was in town to see the parade with her family members who live here, echoed the thankfulness.

“We were alone last year, and we homeschooled last year,” she said, “and now we’re back in school, and we’re doing the best we can.”

With the international borders having reopened earlier this month, the thousands upon thousands of people lining the route came from far and wide.

Anna Goldsby, from Dunkirk, Maryland, said that seeing the parade was deeply meaningful.

“It was on my bucket list,” said the Washington, D.C.-area resident.

But the world famous parade is a New York tradition, that’s all-American.  That was the word from New Yorker and Academy Award winner and multi-Grammy nominee Jon Batiste. The bandleader, who’s originally from Louisiana, told the PIX11 Morning News that he looked forward to spending the day with his family.  

After he boarded a float, he declared his love for the entire New York City event.
“I love it, I love it, I Iove it!”  he exclaimed.  

The whole event felt very much like it has for nearly a century. Still, though, the COVID-19 pandemic is ongoing, and parade goers were well aware.

“We checked each other’s cards,” said Paul Leppard, referring to the vaccination cards of his fellow attendees.  

He was not joking, and his section of the sidelines was not an exception.

Jackie Valorani, a local resident, said that she and her guests decided to go to the parade because they’ve protected themselves from coronavirus.

“We have our shots. We’re vaccinated!” she declared.

During the event, which ran from 9 a.m. until around noon, there was apparently a small concern with keeping the new balloon Ada Twist, Scientist on course, and the Smokey Bear balloon tilted somewhat when it reached Midtown. Both of those issues were easily righted. 

In the end, though, it was all about the fun, from the Tom Turkey float that begins the parade, to Santa on his sleigh, taking up the rear.  The parade that’s only been interrupted by World War II continued, for yet another year.

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