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New York City Thanksgiving Parade Balloons, Routes and Hotel Packages

New York City Thanksgiving Parade : Thanksgiving Day is traditionally a day for families and friends to get together for a special meal. The meal often includes a turkey, stuffing, potatoes, cranberry sauce, gravy, pumpkin pie, and vegetables. Thanksgiving Day is a time for many people to give thanks for what they have.

Thanksgiving Day parades are held in some cities and towns on or around Thanksgiving Day. Some parades or festivities also mark the opening of the Christmas shopping season. Some people have a four-day weekend so it is a popular time for trips and to visit family and friends.

The big balloons soared along with the crowd’s spirits Thursday as the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade made its way through the streets of New York City.

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There had been some concerns about whether the wind could keep 16 giant balloons grounded after a wet and blustery storm hit the East Coast a day earlier. But the cherished tradition prevailed when the New York City Police Department decided Thursday that winds were calm enough.

Balloons have only been grounded once in the parade’s 87-year history, when bad weather kept them from flying in 1971.

The city enacted strict rules after fierce winds in 1997 caused a Cat in the Hat balloon to topple a light pole and seriously injure a spectator.

“We thought they’d find a way to pull it off,” said parade-goer John Mispagel, of San Jose, California. “It’s really fun seeing so many people having such a great time.”

Balloon handlers were keeping a tight grip on their inflated characters and held them fairly close to the ground in tree-lined areas. The wind was around 26 mph (42 kph).

Mispagel and his wife, Susan, said Sonic the Hedgehog got caught on a tree while rounding a corner near the start of the parade route; handlers used cutters on a rope to free the balloon.

The cheering throngs were bundled against a 30-degree Fahrenheit (-1 Celsius) chill, but the sun was shining. Some in the crowd lifted small children onto their shoulders.

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