Security didn’t keep crowds from Macy’s parade

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NEW YORK (AP) — Onlookers at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade say the intensive security measures weren’t enough to keep 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 ended at Macy’s flagship store on 34th Street.

Charlie Brown led the signature large inflatable balloons as the parade kicked off 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.

The Charlie Brown balloon was one of three new giant character inflatables in this year’s parade, and joined returning favorites including Thomas the Tank Engine, Hello Kitty and SpongeBob SquarePants.
Lithia’s Newsome High School Wolfpack Marching Band performed in the parade (watch video here).

Among the celebrities expected to attend were Tony Bennett, Aloe Blacc, Sarah McLachlan and Olympic gold medalists Laurie Hernandez, Claressa Shields and Michelle Carter.

But attendees also saw some somber sights, like the more than 80 sanitation trucks filled with sand placed at intersections and other places as barriers against any kind of attack. There was a heavy police presence, including bomb-sniffing dogs and officers in uniform with assault weapons and portable radiation detectors. Officers in plainclothes were among the crowds of people.

Authorities said there was no confirmation of any credible threat and urged spectators to come out for the parade.

One prominent person who wasn’t in New York City is President-elect Donald Trump, who is spending the holiday at his home in Palm Beach, Florida.

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