The Latest: Security isn’t keeping crowds from Macy’s parade


NEW YORK (AP) — The Latest on the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade in New York City (all times local):

11:40 a.m.

Onlookers at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade say the intensive security measures aren’t keeping them from enjoying the holiday event.

The crowds lining the parade route Thursday were kept company by New York Police Department helicopters flying overhead, heavily armed officers and bomb-sniffing dogs as giant balloons and floats passed by.

People were packed as many as 10 deep as the clowns and other marchers walked by. The parade ends at Macy’s flagship store on 34th Street.

Sarah Bender of Long Island came with her two young children and said the police presence helped her feel safe. She says: “You can’t spend your life worrying about what could happen.”

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9:10 a.m.

Thousands of people are lining New York City streets amid tight security for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Charlie Brown led the signature large inflatable balloons as the parade kicked off Thursday morning with the spraying of confetti and a ceremonial ribbon-cutting. Costumes characters mingled with revelries and crowds cheered as clowns on bicycles rode by carrying bundles of balloons.

Crowds, some as many as ten deep, lined the parade route, which starts on Manhattan’s Upper West Side and makes its way down to Macy’s flagship store on 34th Street.

More than 80 sanitation trucks filled with sand were placed at intersections and other places as barriers against any kind of attack.

Officers carrying assault rifles and bomb-sniffing dogs also lined the parade route, along with plainclothes officers in the crowd.

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12:40 a.m.

A giant Charlie Brown balloon will join 1,000 clowns and a dozen marching bands along a parade route lined with spectators and police in plainclothes for the 90th annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

The Charlie Brown balloon is one of three new giant character inflatables in this year’s parade, and joins returning favorites including Thomas the Tank Engine, Hello Kitty and SpongeBob SquarePants. The popular event draws millions of spectators as it makes its way through the streets of Manhattan before finishing up at Macy’s flagship store.

But attendees also will see some somber sights, like the more than 80 sanitation trucks filled with sand that will be placed at intersections and other places as barriers against any kind of attack. There also will be a heavy police presence.

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