Shelby and I spent Thanksgiving in the city this year. On Thanksgiving we braved the crowds (and the cold) and went to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. Neither of us had ever been before but we have watched it on TV every year for as far back as I can remember. It's a Thanksgiving tradition in our house so we were excited to finally see it in person.
We knew there would be crowds and had heard that people start lining the streets hours before the parade starts. The parade steps off at 9AM from 77th and Central Park West which is basically just on the other side of the park from where we live. We decided that around there would be the least crowded so we wanted to aim to arrive in that area around 7AM. We woke up early, dressed in layers, grabbed a bagel and some coffee and jumped in a cab. Unfortunately roads were already blocked off so the driver wasn't able to take us very far. So, we went with plan B and just walked through Central Park.
We ended up getting really lucky and slipped into an area on the edge of the park that I think was reserved but no one questioned us. Rule #1 in NYC: act like you know what you are doing...even if you don't, ha ha. We were right on the edge of the street and while there were some people already there it wasn't near as crowded as I was expecting. About 30 minutes after we got there it was very packed so we got there at the perfect time.
With about 2 hours to kill before the parade started we ate our bagels and tried to stay warm. The temperature was in the low 30s. Everyone was very excited when the parade finally started. It was about two and a half hours from start to finish. I'd love to share some photos if you'd like to see
The beginning of the parade
Tom the Turkey
Jimmy Fallon on the Sesame Street float
Two of the girls from Fifth Harmony
One thing you might not think about is without the commentary from Matt and Savannah on TV the parade is actually very quiet until a band walks by. All the performances you see on TV only occur at the end of the parade on 34th street by Macy's Herald Square.
The balloons were my favorite part. They are so big and look so cool in person. Because of the wind there was a chance the balloons were not going to be able to be in the air for safety but I'm glad they were able to fly. The parade would not have been nearly as interesting without them. Mr. Sponge Bob did almost get away from the balloon handlers when he was by us though.
The Cirque du Soleil float was by far the coolest thing in the parade. There were trampolines and all kinds of performers doing tricks and it was so cool to watch them do everything while on a moving parade float.
This Wizard of Oz balloon was also very cool. It's a hot air balloon!! : )
Elf on the Shelf
Santa waved at me!!
Seeing the parade in person was a cool experience but Shelby and I both agree it's probably something you do once but it's not necessary to see it in person again. Honestly, I kind of missed all the the cheesey TV commentary and seeing all of the performances.
Until Next Time