Today we are thankful for Macy’s and the wonderful parade they sponsor in New York City every Thanksgiving. This year was the 90th edition of the parade, and we joined 3.5 million others along the route to take in the action.
The festivities actually began last night when we attended the Inflation Party. Over one million people show up to watch the giant balloons get inflated in preparation for the parade. The massive event takes place on the streets around the Museum of Natural History, which is conveniently just one subway stop from our apartment. Surprisingly, it was a very well organized and a fun way to take a “behind the scenes” look at the parade preparations. Seeing the balloons on the ground, however, is nothing like seeing them in the air!
The parade runs 2.5 miles from 77th and Central Park West, through midtown Manhattan and finishes up at Macy’s at Herald Square at 34th Street. What you see on TV is filmed at Macy’s, and it’s nearly impossible to get near that location as all the seating is reserved for Macy’s VIPs. We opted to find a spot along Central Park West and enjoy the parade shortly beyond its launching point. Arriving at 5:30 a.m. we were not the first ones to stake out territory, but we were lucky to find a nice spot next to a mailbox, which gave us something to lean against as we waited for the event to begin.
We were also advised to take cardboard to sit on and that was a blessing! We had a warmer seat than on the concrete and then we had a cushion to stand on during the parade. All in all, we were well prepared, warm, and comfortable waiting the 3 1/2 hours in the morning cold.
In just over an hour and half we saw the iconic giant character balloons, 26 floats, 1,000 cheerleaders and dancers, 1,000 clowns, and 16 marching bands. Amid it all were celebrities including Tony Bennett, Olympian Laurie Hernandez, and the Muppets. We hope you enjoy all the pictures!
Tonight we are having dinner at Friend of a Farmer in Gramercy Park. While it won’t be the same as sitting down to a turkey feast with our families, we are looking forward to it. We have just two weeks left in New York during which we plan to see the Rockettes, the Rockefeller Center tree lighting, the Annual Train Show at the Botanical Gardens, and check out other holiday-related events. A stroll down Fifth Avenue to see the holiday windows is also on the list.
We wish you and your family the happiest of Thanksgivings!