New York City’s annual Thanksgiving Day Parade kicks off today before millions of spectators.
After two years of COVID restrictions, the parade is back in full swing this year.The parade follows a 2.5-mile route from the Upper West Side to 34th Street.
Dressed and ready to fly, Dino and Baby Dino are set to glide through the streets with some familiar balloon faces.
“We came here to see balloons for the first time,” said parade spectator Monica DeBride.
About 3 million people stand by and 8,000 performers officially kick off the holiday season. For many, the fun started yesterday with crowds gathering all day to watch the balloons inflate.
“I didn’t realize how big they were,” said Cindy Mandut, a visitor from Florida.
This year there are 16 giant character balloons, 28 floats, 12 marching bands, 700 clowns and of course Santa Claus.
“My favorite was actually ‘The Diary of a Wimpy Kid,'” said parade spectator Alex Williams.
The New York Police Department has stepped up security as a precautionary measure for holiday parades in the wake of two mass shootings in Virginia and Colorado every few days, but police said there were no known credible threats to the festival. says no.
“Don’t worry, there are visible and invisible cops,” Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell said. “We’re in the air. We’re in the crowd. We’re on the route. We’re here to keep you safe.”
Some of the big balloons people said they were watching are Minions, Papa Smurf, and The Wimpy Kid’s Diary.