NEW YORK — Crimped by the coronavirus pandemic final yr, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade returned Thursday in full, although with precautions.
Balloons, floats, marching bands, clowns and performers — and, after all, Santa Claus — as soon as once more wended although 2 1/2 miles (4 kilometers) of Manhattan streets, as a substitute of being confined to at least one block or typically pre-taped final yr.
Spectators, shut out in 2020, lined the route once more. Highschool and school marching bands from across the nation had been invited again to the lineup; most of final yr’s performers had been regionally primarily based to chop down on journey. The enormous balloons, tethered to automobiles final yr, obtained their costumed handlers again. And celebrities had been in tow.
One of the crucial memorable visitor appearances got here from the “Blue’s Clues” hosts Steve Burns, Donovan Patton and Joshua Dela Cruz, who obtained the vary again collectively.
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‘Blue’s Clues’ hosts reunite on float: Steve Burns says it ‘feels similar to yesterday’ he was on present
Almost 20 years after the unique “Blue’s Clues” host abruptly left the kids’s present to go to varsity, Burns returned with fellow hosts Patton and Dela Cruz for a reunion that left many followers emotional.
Burns, Patton and Delal Cruz carried out “You Cannot Spell Blue With out You” collectively on this yr’s “Blue’s Clues” float, which has been part of the pageant since 1999, in response to parade host Savannah Guthrie.
“It feels similar to yesterday, that you simply requested us to play. Stopped shirt, pocket book, however that wasn’t all it took. By way of the seasons, by the years. There is a motive we’re nonetheless right here,” the trio sang in celebration of the generations of followers who supported the collection for the final 25-years.
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“Cherished seeing all our #BluesCluesAndYou fam collectively on the #MacysParade,” tweeted Nickelodeon, the present’s community “Anybody else instantly getting actually emotional?”
Somebody was undoubtedly reducing onions within the Twitterverse.
Burns hosted the present from 1996 to 2002, and was carefully related to its success in catering to preschool-aged children. He was changed by Donovan Patton as Steve’s youthful brother “Joe” from 2004 to 2007. Dela Cruz hosted the revival “Blue’s Clues & You!” since 2019.
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President Biden calls Al Roker: ‘America is again’
To President Joe Biden, the parade’s full-fledged return was an indication of renewal, and he known as NBC broadcaster Al Roker on-air to say so.
“Oh my gosh, take a look at who’s calling,” the “At the moment” present host mentioned, whereas displaying the president’s face pop up on his telephone.
“After two years, we’re again. America is again. There’s nothing we’re unable to beat,” Biden mentioned over the telephone from Nantucket, Massachusetts, the place he was watching the printed together with his household.
Roker responded: “Thanks a lot. I hope you’re going to proceed to observe the parade. Santa is coming. Santa is coming, Mr. President!”
“I’m ready for Santa,” Biden replied.
NBC Information’ Andrea Mitchell shared an image of the candy encounter on Twitter.The photograph exhibits the primary couple smiling in entrance of the tv as they lean right into a cellular phone held by Biden.
Harry Connick Jr. appears unrecognizable as Daddy Warbucks from ‘Annie Stay!’
Daddy Warbucks is in the home.
Connick Jr. made his first dwell look as Daddy Warbucks on the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Thursday alongside “Annie Stay!” co-star Celina Smith. The duo sang “I Do not Want Something However You” after climbing out of an old style automobile.
His signature hair was nowhere in sight. Connick Jr. donned a full white swimsuit and a bald cap, which appeared to catch folks’s eye. Not in a great way apparently.
“Harry Connick Jr. is taking part in Jeff Bezos within the TV model of ‘Annie,'” @JoePontillo tweeted. Person @Donewitheveryt6 added, “Is it simply me or is Harry Connick Jr. in a bald cap the scariest factor ever?”
“Annie Stay!” will air Dec. 2 on NBC at 8 p.m. EST.
Security measures in place: Vaccine mandate, masking
The Thanksgiving parade is the newest U.S. vacation occasion to make a comeback as vaccines, familiarity and sheer frustration made officers and a number of the public extra comfy with large gatherings amid the continuing pandemic.
Nonetheless, security measures continued. Parade staffers and volunteers needed to be vaccinated towards COVID-19 and put on masks, although some singers and performers had been allowed to shed them. There was no inoculation requirement for spectators, however Macy’s and town inspired them to cowl their faces. A well-liked pre-parade spectacle — the inflation of the enormous balloons — was restricted to vaccinated viewers.
Giant police presence after Christmas parade tragedy
The Thanksgiving occasion additionally got here days after an SUV driver plowed by a Christmas parade in suburban Milwaukee, killing six folks and injuring over 60. Authorities mentioned the driving force, who has been charged with intentional murder, was dashing away from police after a home dispute.
Mayor Invoice de Blasio mentioned Wednesday there was no credible, particular menace to the Thanksgiving parade, however the New York Police Division’s safety measures could be in depth, as regular.
“I’m very assured in what the NYPD has ready to maintain everybody protected,” he mentioned.
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Hundreds of cops had been assigned to the parade route, from streets to rooftops. Vehicles had been blocked from the parade route with sand-filled rubbish vehicles, different heavy automobiles and roughly 360,000 kilos (163,000 kilograms) of concrete boundaries.
Bomb-detecting canines, bomb squad officers, heavy-weapons groups, radiation and chemical sensors and over 300 additional cameras additionally had been dispatched to the parade route, NYPD Chief of Counterterrorism Martine Materasso mentioned.
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Contained in the barricades, the parade featured about 8,000 individuals, 4 dozen balloons of various sizes and two dozen floats.
New ‘Child Yoda’ float, extra star appearances
New balloon giants becoming a member of the lineup embrace the title character from the Netflix collection “Ada Twist, Scientist”; the Pokémon characters Pikachu and Eevee on a sled (Pikachu has appeared earlier than, in numerous kind), and Grogu, aka “Child Yoda,” from the tv present “The Mandalorian.” New floats are coming from entities starting from condiment maker Heinz to NBCUniversal’s Peacock streaming service to the Louisiana Workplace of Tourism.
Entertainers and celebrities embrace Carrie Underwood, Jon Batiste, Nelly, Kelly Rowland, Miss America Camille Schrier, the band Foreigner, and plenty of others. A number of Broadway musical casts and the Radio Metropolis Rockettes additionally carried out.
Contributing: The Related Press
Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade 2021 returns to its pre-pandemic kind. This is what to know
This text initially appeared on USA TODAY: Macy’s Thanksgiving parade: ‘Blue’s Clues’ hosts reunite, extra moments