NEW YORK – Criminalized by the coronavirus pandemic last year, Macy’s Thanksgiving parade returned in full on Thursday, but with caution.
Balloons, floats, marching bands, clowns and performers – and, of course, Santa Claus – once again roamed 4 miles of Manhattan streets, instead of being confined to a block or sometimes pre -recorded last year. .
The spectators, excluded in 2020, have again aligned the course. Bands from high schools and universities across the country have been invited to return to the programming; most of last year’s performers were based locally to reduce travel. The giant balloons, attached to vehicles last year, have recovered their costumed handlers. And the celebrities were in tow.
One of the guests’ most memorable appearances came from “Blue’s Clues” hosts Steve Burns, Donovan Patton and Joshua Dela Cruz, who replenished the lineup.
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‘Blue’s Clues’ hosts gather on float: Steve Burns says he ‘feels like yesterday’ he was on display
Almost 20 years after the original “Blue’s Clues” host abruptly left the children’s show for college, Burns returned with fellow hosts Patton and Dela Cruz for a reunion that left many fans behind. moved.
Burns, Patton and Delal Cruz performed “You Can’t Spell Blue Without You” together on this year’s “Blue’s Clues” float, which has been part of the festival since 1999, according to parade host Savannah Guthrie.
“It’s as if it was yesterday, that you asked us to play. Shirt stopped, notebook, but that was not all it took. Over the seasons, over the years. There is a reason we’re still here. ” the trio sang as a tribute to the generations of fans who have supported the series over the past 25 years.
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“I loved seeing our whole family #BluesCluesAndYou together at the #MacysParade”, tweeted Nickelodeon, the network for the series “Is Anyone Else Suddenly Getting Really Emotional?”
Someone was definitely cutting onions in the Twitterverse.
Burns hosted the show from 1996 to 2002, and was closely associated with its success in catering to preschoolers. He was replaced by Donovan Patton as the younger brother of Steve “Joe” from 2004 to 2007. Dela Cruz hosted the cover “Blue’s Clues & You!” since 2019.
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President Biden calls out Al Roker: “America is back”
For President Joe Biden, the full-fledged return of the parade was a sign of renewal, and he called NBC broadcaster Al Roker on the air to say it.
“Oh my God, look who’s calling,” the “Today” host said, while pointing to the president’s face on his phone.
“After two years, we’re back. America is back. There’s nothing we can’t get over, ”Biden said on the phone from Nantucket, Massachusetts, where he was watching the show with his family.
Roker replied, “Thank you very much. I hope you will continue to watch the parade. Santa Claus is coming. Santa Claus is coming, Mr. President!
“I’m waiting for Santa Claus,” Biden replied.
Andrea Mitchell of NBC News shared a photo of the sweet encounter on Twitter. The photo shows the first couple smiling in front of the TV as they lean over a cell phone held by Biden.
Harry Connick Jr. looks unrecognizable as Daddy Warbucks from “Annie Live!”
Papa Warbucks is in the house.
Connick Jr. made his first live appearance as Daddy Warbucks at Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade Thursday alongside “Annie Live!” co-starring Celina Smith. The duo sang “I Don’t Need Anything But You” after stepping out of an old car.
Her signature hair was nowhere in sight. Connick Jr. donned a white suit and a bald beanie, which seemed to catch people’s attention. Not in a good way, apparently.
“Annie live! Will air Dec. 2 on NBC at 8 p.m. EST.
Security measures in place: Vaccine warrant, masking
The Thanksgiving Parade is the latest US holiday event to make a comeback, as vaccinations, familiarity, and sheer frustration have made officials and some of the public more comfortable with large gatherings in the midst of the current pandemic.
Yet security measures continued. Parade staff and volunteers were to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and wear masks, although some singers and performers were allowed to get rid of them. There was no vaccination requirement for spectators, but Macy’s and the city encouraged them to cover their faces. A popular pre-parade show – the inflating of giant balloons – was limited to vaccinated viewers.
Strong police presence after Christmas parade tragedy
The Thanksgiving event also came days after an SUV driver drove through a Christmas parade in suburban Milwaukee, killing six people and injuring more than 60. Authorities said the driver, who was accused of intentional homicide, was walking away from the police after a domestic dispute.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Wednesday there was no credible and specific threat to the Thanksgiving parade, but the New York Police Department’s security measures would be extended, as usual.
“I am very confident in what the NYPD has prepared to keep everyone safe,” he said.
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Thousands of police officers were assigned to the parade route, from the streets to the rooftops. Cars were stranded on the parade route with garbage trucks filled with sand, other heavy vehicles, and approximately 360,000 pounds (163,000 kilograms) of concrete barriers.
Bomb detection dogs, bomb squad officers, heavy weapons teams, radiation and chemical sensors and more than 300 additional cameras were also dispatched to the parade route, the head of the parade said. NYPD Counterterrorism, Martine Materasso.
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Inside the barricades, the parade had about 8,000 participants, four dozen balloons of different sizes and two dozen floats.
New ‘Baby Yoda’ float, more star appearances
New balloon giants joining the lineup include the main character of the Netflix series “Ada Twist, Scientist”; Pokémon characters Pikachu and Eevee on a sled (Pikachu has appeared in various forms before) and Grogu, aka “Baby Yoda”, from the TV show “The Mandalorian”. New tanks come from entities ranging from condiment maker Heinz and NBCUniversal’s Peacock streaming service to the Louisiana Board of Tourism.
Artists and celebrities include Carrie Underwood, Jon Batiste, Nelly, Kelly Rowland, Miss America Camille Schrier, the group Foreigner and many more. Several Broadway musical actors and the Radio City Rockettes also performed.
Contribution: The Associated Press
Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade 2021 returns to its pre-pandemic form. Here is what you need to know