Despite frigid cold and strong winds, millions of people from New York and around the world lined the streets of Manhattan to watch the dazzling display of balloons and floats at the 92nd annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on Thursday.
Many spectators, huddled under blankets and behind guardrails, waited for hours at the West 77th Street, or Central Park West, where the three-hour annual spectacle kicked off at 9 a.m. (1400 GMT).
“The Elf On The Shelf” balloon seen at the 2018 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York, U.S.
The temperature dipped to 19 degrees Fahrenheit (-7.2 degrees Celsius) in the morning, which tied November 28, 1901 and November 30, 1876, for the second coldest Thanksgiving in the city, according to the National Weather Service for New York.
The coldest Thanksgiving in New York was recorded on November 30, 1871 when the temperature dropped to as low as 15 degrees Fahrenheit (-9.4 degrees Celsius).
The Tom Turkey float at the 2018 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York, U.S
“I don’t feel cold because I really want to see the balloons,” said Michelle, who arrived in the Big Apple the day before from Scotland with her friends. Beating the jet lag, the girls came to see the parade as early as 7 a.m. (1200 GMT) for a good spot.
“I’ve been to New York six times and it’s my first Thanksgiving here. I can’t miss it (the parade),” Michelle added.
A marching band in the 2018 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York, U.S
Zac Collins, coming from Texas, took his family to New York during the holiday just to watch the parade. “My daughter wants to come here and see this,” said Zac, pointing to a teenage girl sitting on a carpet behind the guardrail, covered in layers of scarves.
The city issued an extreme cold weather alert for Thursday and urged anyone going outside to wear hats, scarves, gloves and layered clothing and to keep their fingertips, earlobes, and noses covered to prevent frostbite.
People watch the 2018 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York, U.S
The parade, which began in 1924, featured some 8,000 marchers, including high school bands from across the country, and 16 massive balloons and 26 large floats. Among the balloons and floats are the 53-foot-high (16 meters) Pikachu from the Pokemon franchise, a 67-foot-high (20 meters) Ronald McDonald as well as Little Cloud by FriendsWithYou and Sunny the Snowpal, according to Macy’s parade website.
Security was beefed up for the event as thousands of police officers were stationed along the parade route, which concludes at Macy’s flagship store on 34th Street and 7th Avenue. Counterterrorism teams with long guns were on hand, with plainclothes officers mixing into the crowd. Throughout the city, security bars could be seen blocking access to mailboxes and trash disposals in an effort to curb any possible bombs.