You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Macy's parade goes off without hitch amid tight NYC security

Associated Press logo Associated Press 11/24/2016 By MICHAEL BALSAMO, Associated Press
Participants greet others as they await the start of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2016. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle) © The Associated Press Participants greet others as they await the start of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2016. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

NEW YORK (AP) — Thousands of people lined the streets Thursday amid heavy security including bomb-sniffing dogs and portable radiation detectors as iconic inflatable balloons, costumed characters and clowns floated, marched and danced their way through New York City for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Santa Claus waves to spectators along Central Park West during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York Thursday, Nov. 24, 2016. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle) © The Associated Press Santa Claus waves to spectators along Central Park West during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York Thursday, Nov. 24, 2016. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

Revelers cheered and yelled, "Thank you!" as police walked the parade route, and the crowd gave special attention to the New York Police Department marching band.

The Ronald McDonald and Thomas the Tank Engine balloons float over Central Park West during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York Thursday, Nov. 24, 2016. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle) © The Associated Press The Ronald McDonald and Thomas the Tank Engine balloons float over Central Park West during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York Thursday, Nov. 24, 2016. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

Spectators — sometimes standing 10 deep — held signs and balloons as they watched Santa Claus and his reindeer, Ronald McDonald and SpongeBob SquarePants pass by. Charlie Brown led the signature balloons as the parade kicked off with a ceremonial ribbon-cutting before the parade made its way down to Macy's flagship store on 34th Street.

A dancer with the Chengdu (China) Panda float is assisted by a fellow dancer before the start of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2016. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle) © The Associated Press A dancer with the Chengdu (China) Panda float is assisted by a fellow dancer before the start of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2016. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

Clowns carrying bundles of balloons rode down the parade route as marching bands from across the country entertained revelers. Costumed characters and dozens of celebrities, including singers Tony Bennett and Sarah McLachlan and Olympic gold medalist Laurie Hernandez, were among the attendees.

Heavily armed members of the NYPD stand on Central Park South before the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2016, in New York. (AP Photo/Bryan R. Smith) © The Associated Press Heavily armed members of the NYPD stand on Central Park South before the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2016, in New York. (AP Photo/Bryan R. Smith)

Annie Quinn traveled more than three hours from Albany to attend the parade with her cousin and two sisters — all three dressed in turkey costumes — scoring prime front-row seats along the route.

Participants walk along Central Park West at the start of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York Thursday, Nov. 24, 2016. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle) © The Associated Press Participants walk along Central Park West at the start of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York Thursday, Nov. 24, 2016. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

"We sat here for hours, but it was worth it," she said. "This was the best parade I've seen in a while."

Performers skate along Central Park South before the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2016, in New York. (AP Photo/Bryan R. Smith) © The Associated Press Performers skate along Central Park South before the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2016, in New York. (AP Photo/Bryan R. Smith)

But amid the fun, high-fives and cheers, there was an air of uncertainty about the possibility of an extremist attack after a recent posting in an English-language Islamic State group magazine that called the parade "an excellent target." Nevertheless, the parade went off without a hitch Thursday.

The Ronald McDonald balloon floats over Central Park West during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York Thursday, Nov. 24, 2016. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle) © The Associated Press The Ronald McDonald balloon floats over Central Park West during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York Thursday, Nov. 24, 2016. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

More than 80 sanitation trucks filled with sand were parked at intersections and other places, acting as barriers against any kind of attack. The NYPD said the sanitation trucks, which they have used before, would play a bigger role at this year's parade in the wake of the cargo truck attack in Nice, France, that killed more than 80 people.

Spectators watching from an office building window wave as Santa Claus passes along Sixth Avenue during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2016, in New York. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson) © The Associated Press Spectators watching from an office building window wave as Santa Claus passes along Sixth Avenue during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2016, in New York. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

In addition to more than 3,000 uniformed and plainclothes officers, bomb-sniffing dogs and officers with assault weapons and portable radiation detectors walked among the crowds.

Participants stand by just before the start of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York Thursday, Nov. 24, 2016. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle) © The Associated Press Participants stand by just before the start of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York Thursday, Nov. 24, 2016. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

At least one spectator said the intensive security made her feel secure.

The Skylanders Eruptor balloon floats above the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York Thursday, Nov. 24, 2016. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle) © The Associated Press The Skylanders Eruptor balloon floats above the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York Thursday, Nov. 24, 2016. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

"There are so many police officers out here you can't help but feel safe," said Sarah Bender, who brought her two young sons to watch the parade. "It's a day to have fun, watch the balloons and celebrate with your family. You can't spend your life worrying about what could happen."

Spectators watch from balconies along Central Park South as the Pillsbury Doughboy balloon passes during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2016, in New York. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson) © The Associated Press Spectators watch from balconies along Central Park South as the Pillsbury Doughboy balloon passes during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2016, in New York. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson) Spectators lean over a barrier as a marching band approaches along Central Park South during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2016, in New York. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson) © The Associated Press Spectators lean over a barrier as a marching band approaches along Central Park South during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2016, in New York. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
AdChoices
AdChoices
AdChoices
image beaconimage beaconimage beacon