Security will be tight as three million people are expected to attend Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The much-awaited celebration is bound to draw a huge crowd this year, and will begin on Thursday, at 9 a.m. Eastern Standard Time.
It will be the 89th edition of the Thanksgiving tradition started by the popular department store chain, and while this may be arguably the most popular and celebrated parade of this kind in the United States, it’s not actually the oldest.
That title is held by the 6abc Dunkin’ Donuts Thanksgiving Day parade, which began in 1920, and takes place in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Macy’s festivity is the second oldest celebration marking this holiday, being just as old as America’s Thanksgiving Parade, which commenced in 1924, in Detroit, Michigan.
Just like every year since 1952, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade will be televised nationally on NBC, although CBS will also cover it live.
Alternatively, those wishing to watch it without a television set can go to www.nbc.com/live, but they must keep in mind that the live stream service can only be accessed through authentication using a cable TV subscription.
However, the real thrill is to attend the parade in person, on the streets of Manhattan, and so far thousands of people from across the country have already arrived on Wednesday night in order to see the large float-based balloons being inflated.
Given that approximately 3 million people are expected to celebrate it there, tight security measures have been taken: around 2,500 police officers will be present at the scene, to ensure that everything progresses smoothly.
In fact, according to Police Commissioner William Bratton, this is the most significant number of officers that has ever been stationed by the department so as to provide security for an event.
Following the terrorist attacks in Paris, New York City officials have been fearing similar incidents, so law enforcement is now on alert, especially after an ISIS video threatening Times Square was made public.
The holiday procession will begin at 77th Street and Central Park West, and afterwards head down Central Park West.
Then, it will move eastwards, on Central Park South, then continue its route south at Sixth Avenue, until it stops in front of the iconic Macy’s store, at 34th Street.
The event will unfold across 3 hours, and approximately 8,000 participants will delight the audience. There will be dance teams, high school marching bands, as well as popular singers, such as Mariah Carey, Prince, Pat Benatar, Jake Owen, Daughtry, Trey Songz and Jordin Sparks.
In addition, there will be live performances from the casts of several Broadway shows, such as Finding Neverland, School of Rock, Fiddler on the Roof, The King & I, Something Rotten and On Your Feet.
One of the novelties of this year’s parade is that the line-up will also include KFC’s Colonel Sanders, “the original celebrity chef”, according to Amy Kule, the event’s executive producer.
This means that the fast food restaurant chain has been successful in its social media campaign which commenced last week, with the aim of convincing parade organizers to feature the colonel’s journey from Louisville Kentucky, to New York City.
In fact, this will be the first of three consecutive appearances of the Colonel at Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and it will also mark the 75th anniversary of the original recipe of fried chicken, perfected with top secret 11 herbs and spices.
There will also be other new additions to the 2015 celebration, such a Build a Bear workshop, as well as a float inspired by the Peanuts comic strip. The latter is meant to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the iconic animated television special “A Charlie Brown Christmas”, and will include Snoopy’ blue dog house.
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