In Sandy's wake, Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade a sign of normal
As normalcy continues to slowly return to New York in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, one of the city's most treasured traditions will be back in its full glory: the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.
The parade, now in its 86th year, will debut a new route on Thursday down Sixth Avenue, only the seventh such change in its history. Twenty-eight floats, 40 balloons, 1,600 cheerleaders and dancers, 900 clowns and 11 marching bands will parade down the new path on Thursday, including three new balloons, including Hello Kitty and Papa Smurf.
Some 3 million people are expected to turn out for the parade, with another 50 million watching on TV, Macy's said.
Amy Kule, the parade's executive producer, said she hopes the tradition will help people forget, at least for a day, all the tragedy that Sandy brought.
"We hope the Macy's parade serves as a beacon of hope and renewal for all Americans who will gather with friends and family to give thanks this season and begin to heal from the devastating aftermath of Superstorm Sandy," she said.
The parade steps off at 9 a.m. at 77th Street and Central Park West and heads down to Columbus Circle, where it will turn onto Central Park South then head down Sixth Avenue. At the 34th Street the parade heads west and ends at Herald Square around noon.