Macy's Thanksgiving parade returns, with all the trimmings

Macy's Thanksgiving parade
Photos: Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade 2018
Posted at 8:28 AM, Nov 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-25 11:28:56-05

NEW YORK (AP) — The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has returned in full, after being crimped by the coronavirus pandemic last year.

The lineup of balloons, floats, marching bands, clowns, performers and Santa Claus again wended though 2 1/2 miles of Manhattan streets Thursday.

High school and college marching bands from around the country were invited back to the lineup; most of last year’s performers were locally based to cut down on travel. 

Participants were confined to one block or sometimes pre-taped last year. Spectators were shut out in 2020 but are lining the route again this time.

Macy's Thanksgiving parade
Crews pump helium into a balloon of Pikachu and Eevee in New York on Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2021, as the balloon is readied for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on Thursday.

The Thanksgiving parade is the latest U.S. holiday event to make a comeback amid the ongoing pandemic.

Still, some safety measures continue. Parade staffers and volunteers must be vaccinated against COVID-19, and most must wear masks.

Entertainers and celebrities include Carrie Underwood, Jon Batiste, Nelly, Kelly Rowland, Miss America Camille Schrier, the band Foreigner, and many others. Several Broadway musical casts and the Radio City Rockettes also are due to perform.