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Thanksgiving in NYC: Parade highlights, travel advisories, turkey advice & more

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Thousands pack Manhattan for Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
Thousands pack Manhattan for Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade 02:30

NEW YORK -- A New York City tradition continued Thursday with the 96th Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. 

CBS2's Jenna DeAngelis caught all the action from the start of the parade route on the Upper West Side. 

Soaking in the sights and sounds of the parade in person, for many, is hard to put into words. 

"We came to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and I love it!" Joey Iannazzo, of Pearl River, New York, told DeAngelis. 

"It's amazing. I cannot describe it, so good," Alabama resident Jud Grant said. 

"It feels like I'm a kid again," said Greenport resident Kathryn Capell.

"It's a perfect day, too," her husband Josh added. 

"Seeing this is - it's magical," Minnesota resident Cyndi Brenner said. 

Especially for those like Brenner experiencing the decades-old spectacle in New York City for the first time. 

"We've been trying to come for 50 years to this parade. My husband and I, we're from Minnesota," she said.

Estimated 3 million attend Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade 02:02

Since its first march in 1924, the parade has become a Thanksgiving tradition carried through generations. 

"It's very important to me that I'm with my family, and I'm very lucky to have my parents and my sister," said Chloe Stern, of Miami. 

A new float named Bluey was a fan favorite this year. Other new additions included Dino and Baby Dino and Stuart the Minion. 

Returning to the skies above the city were Spongebob, Snoopy and Chase from Paw Patrol, a total of 16 giant character balloons. 

Plus, 40 inflatables, 28 floats with musical stars and more than 5,000 volunteers, including Alyssa Cost, the Tom Turkey float crew captain. 

"The energy level is high. You're bringing so much joy to so many people, and that you can't buy," Cost said.

The parade brings together millions from all over the country and beyond. 

"This is a marching band from Xalapa, Veracruz. They flew all the way here to New York City, and it's just awesome. I couldn't miss it," said Diana Ocharan, of Mexico. 

Plus, Santa made a trip from the North pole to officially kick off the holiday season. 

 

CBS2 up close

CBS2's Jenna DeAngelis caught all the action from the start of the parade route on the Upper West Side.   

By Jenna DeAngelis
 

Photos: Balloon characters march through Manhattan

The 96th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade kicks off the holiday season for New Yorkers and visitors alike.

CLICK HERE for a photo gallery from the big event.

By CBS New York Team
 

All smiles along parade route

HAPPY THANKSGIVING: I’m thankful for this assignment this morning. I get to covering one of favorite annual traditions, Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade 2022!!!

Posted by John Dias on Thursday, November 24, 2022

CBS2's John Dias shared a big Thanksgiving smile, writing he's "thankful for this assignment this morning. I get to covering one of favorite annual traditions, Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade."

By John Dias
 

Some hitting the road Thanksgiving day

Some people still hitting the road Thanksgiving morning 02:29

Most people traveling for Thanksgiving are doing it by car. For some, the journey was just getting underway Thursday morning. 

CBS2's Zinnia Maldonado spoke with people at the Vince Lombardi service area in Ridgefield, New Jersey. 

"The roads were great, clear. We just sat back and relaxed, it was kind of nice having a chauffeur, so to speak, on a tour bus to come up to the city for the first time. So far, it's been an awesome experience, so we'll see how it goes," said one woman traveling from West Virginia to see the parade in person for the first time. "First time being in New York, so we are really excited."

By Zinnia Maldonado
 

Macy's finalizing magic for parade morning

Magic coming together for Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade 02:32

The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade has been kicking off the holiday season in a tradition dating back nearly 100 years. 

Organizers say there are 16 massive character balloons and 40 smaller inflatables. Each balloon will have 80 to 90 handlers keeping it straight as the parade weaves through Midtown. 

CBS2's John Dias spoke with the parade's executive producer hours before it stepped off on the Upper West Side. 

A few fun facts about the parade: It started as a Christmas parade in the beginning and eventually morphed into a Thanksgiving one. It first took place almost 100 years ago in 1924, tying it for the second-oldest Thanksgiving parade in the U.S. with America's Thanksgiving Parade in Detroit. 

By John Dias
 

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade balloons ready to take flight

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade balloons ready to take flight 03:09

The balloons for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade are ready to take flight Thursday morning.

Crowds gathered Wednesday for the annual Thanksgiving Eve tradition to watch the balloons get inflated.

They are ready for lift-off, or kick-off, and Wednesday night, it was the kind of inflation people actually appreciate.

"It's absolutely fun because we just arrived from Charlotte, North Carolina," Linelle Banks told CBS2's Dick Brennan.

Sisters Linnelle and Linette Banks flew in strictly to see the balloons the night before.

"Gonna be here tomorrow to see the parade?" Brennan asked.

"We're gonna watch it on TV," Linette Banks said.

"Yeah, yeah, yeah, on TV. But it's a pleasure to be here right now," Linelle Banks said.

Indeed it was a pleasure for so many to see the balloons up close, and these guys say, larger than life.

"It was crazy. We thought they were so much smaller than they actually are," one child said.

"You see all the Minions balloons. You see everything. You're on the street. You see all these people. It's just big," another child said.

And it's a big hit for parents, too.

"It's great. We love it. We come every year ... My parents live on the block," parent Lauren Lopresti said.

The inflation began at noon, and for the first time this year, spectators got a sneak peek of this year's parade floats, featuring dancing elephants, giant tug boats, a "Choco-Meter" and a LEGO-lover's dream.

Giant helium tanks inflate 16 massive character balloons and 40 smaller inflatables. Macy's tells us each balloon will have 80-90 handlers keeping it straight at the parade weaves through Midtown.

For young and old, it's the greatest warm-up act for the most fun parade of them all.

By Dick Brennan
 

PHOTOS: Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade balloons inflated ahead of the big day

By CBS New York Team
 

Thanksgiving Eve Celebration

Thanksgiving Eve Celebration 25:27

Join CBS2's Dick Brennan, Jessica Moore and Lonnie Quinn as we celebrate Thanksgiving Eve at the balloon inflation on the Upper West Side.

By CBS New York Team
 

Security will be tight for Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

Security will be tight for Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade 01:43

Security will be tight Thursday as thousands of people come out to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

By CBS New York Team
 

Parade guidance from the NYPD

The NYPD put out a tweet with a list prohibited items if you intend to show up for the parade. They include large bags and backpacks, chairs, umbrellas, drones, alcohol and e-cigarettes. 

By CBS New York Team
 

Parade street closures

The following streets will be closed Thursday for the parade.

Formation:

  • Columbus Avenue between 72nd Street and 83rd Street
  • Central Park West between 81st Street and 86th Street
  • 81st Street between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue
  • 77th Street between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue
  • 76th Street between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue
  • 75th Street between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue
  • 74th Street between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue
  • 73rd Street between Columbus Avenue and Central Park West
  • 72nd Street between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue
  • 71st Street between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue
  • 68th Street between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue
  • 62nd Street between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue
  • 61st Street between Central Park West and Broadway 
  • 59th Street between 6th Avenue and 5th Avenue

Route: 

  • Central Park West between 81st Street and East Side of Columbus Circle/59th Street
  • Columbus Circle between 59th Street and Broadway
  • 59th Street between Columbus Circle and 6th Avenue
  • 6th Avenue between 59th Street and 34th Street                                                                             
  • 34th Street between 6th Avenue 7th Avenue

Dispersal: 

  • 33rd Street between 6th Avenue and 10th Avenue
  • 34th Street between 7h Avenue and 8th Avenue
  • 34th Street between 6th Avenue and 5th Avenue 
  • 35th Street between 5th Avenue and 8th Avenue
  • 36th Street between Broadway and 8th Avenue
  • 37th Street between Broadway and 8th Avenue
  • 38th Street between Broadway and 8th Avenue
  • 39th Street between Broadway and 8th Avenue
  • 40th Street between Broadway and 8th Avenue
  • 41st Street between 7th Avenue and 8th Avenue
  • 7th Avenue between 31st Street and 41st Street
  • Broadway between 45th Street and 34th Street

Miscellaneous:

  • 58th Street between 6th Avenue and 5th Avenue
  • 43rd Street between 6th Avenue and Broadway
  • 40th Street between 7th Avenue and 6th Avenue 
  • 39th Street between Broadway and 6th Avenue
  • 38th Street between Broadway and 6th Avenue
  • 37th Street between Broadway and 6th Avenue
  • 36th Street between Broadway and 6th Avenue
  • 32nd Street between 6th Avenue and 7th Avenue
  • 6th Avenue between 32nd Street and 33rd Street
  • 8th Avenue between 40th Street and 33rd Street
  • Broadway between 33rd Street and 34th Street
  • Grand Army Plaza between 59th Street and Plaza Street

CLICK HERE for a full list of upcoming Gridlock Alert Days in New York City. 

By CBS New York Team
 

Fans at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade balloon inflation

CBS2's Lonnie Quinn live from Thanksgiving parade balloon inflation 01:36

CBS2's Lonnie Quinn has more from fans at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade balloon inflation.

By CBS New York Team
 

More from the Thanksgiving Day Parade balloon inflation

CBS2's Lonnie Quinn live from Thanksgiving parade balloon inflation 03:30

CBS2's Lonnie Quinn was on the Upper West Side on Wednesday night for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade balloon inflation and a look at the Thanksgiving forecast.

By CBS New York Team
 

Crowd fired up for the balloon inflation

First Alert Weather: The latest Thanksgiving forecast 02:33

You can feel the excitement in the air. Check out Lonnie Quinn with fans at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade balloon inflation. 

By CBS New York Team
 

A look at the forecast

First Alert Weather: The latest Thanksgiving forecast 03:01

Lonnie Quinn has a closer look at the Thanksgiving forecast - and the fans of the balloon inflation! 

By CBS New York Team
 

Travelers from all across the country thrilled to see the balloon inflation

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade balloons come to life on UWS 03:51

The Upper West Side is buzzing with excitement as people from all over the country and the world come to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade balloons come to life. 

Giant helium tanks stand at the ready to inflate 16 massive character balloons and 40 smaller inflatables on deck to float through the sky tomorrow morning. 

"To be honest, it's extraordinary," said Jacobi Bennett. 

Families from all over the country flocked to the Upper West Side to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade come to life before their eyes.

"Definitely excited about balloons. A sight to see in person. No idea how they get down the streets with those, but it's great to look at and I see the excitement it's generating and it's just a cool atmosphere," said William Bennet. 

For the first time this year, spectators get a sneak peek of this year's parade floats, featuring dancing elephants, giant tug boats, a "Chock-O-Meter," and Lego lover's dream. 

"We traveled all the way from California to see the floats. It's so cool to see them after watching them on TV every year," said Los Angeles resident Kyra Wong. 

Gianna, 4, got the surprise of her life when she saw Papa Smurf. 

Macy's says each balloon will have 80-90 handlers keeping it straight as the parade weaves through Midtown. 

The line to enter closes at 6:00 p.m., but once you're inside, you can enjoy the sights and sounds until 10 p.m. 

By Jessica Moore
 

Beautiful day for balloon inflation

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade balloons coming to life along Central Park 03:35

People have already started gathering around Central Park West to get a look at the balloons for the 96th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. 

CBS2's Elise Finch caught up with the executive producer about what makes the tradition so special. 

She also has a look at the latest forecast for the balloon inflation into the parade tomorrow. 

By Elise Finch
 

Macy's working around the clock

For many New Yorkers, the day before Thanksgiving means just one thing -- balloon inflation day. 

It's the magical night when giant balloon characters take shape and fly over the Upper West Side.

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade balloon inflation tradition returns tonight 06:29

The 96th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade will march down Broadway to Herald Square at 9 a.m. Thursday. 

Each year, more than 3.5 million people turn out to see the parade, and another 50 million watch from home. 

But tonight it's all about the big balloons. CBS2's Cindy Hsu hears from Creative Producer for Macy's Wesley Whatley about the last-minute preparations and what to expect from this year's parade.

By CBS New York Team
 

Millions on the move

Tri-State travelers on the move this Thanksgiving 02:24

Whether in the air or on the road, millions are traveling for the holiday this year. Following two seasons in a row marked by COVID-19 restrictions, people are ready for a normal dinner around the table. 

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey says more than 6.3 million people are expected to travel through its airports and roadways through Sunday.  

Nationwide, AAA estimates about 55 million people are traveling for Thanksgiving, but the vast majority -- 49 million -- will drive to their destinations. 

The agency reports the worst timeframe to hit the road will be between 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. Wednesday. 

CLICK HERE for the full story.

By Zinnia Maldonado
 

AAA's holiday travel report

AAA predicts nearly 55 million Americans will travel for the holiday, a 1.5% increase from last year and 98% of pre-pandemic levels. Nearly 49 million people are expected to drive.   

AAA releases holiday travel report 06:32

Robert Sinclair Jr. warned the absolute worst time to travel will be the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, just after 5 p.m.

"Go home Wednesday night and get a good night sleep, and wake up extra early on Thanksgiving itself, hit the road then," he suggested. 

Flight Trackers

By CBS New York Team
 

How to watch tonight's special

3x3-thanksgiving-eve-celebration.png
CBS News New York streaming Thanksgiving Eve Celebration special CBS2

We'll have all the action from Wednesday's balloon inflation ceremony, plus a preview of Thursday's parade in our Thanksgiving Eve Celebration at 6:30 p.m. on CBS News New York

You can watch by downloading the CBS News app on any device or smart tv. Hit "live" and find us on CBS News New York. 

Or watch on the Pluto TV app, where you can find us on channel 400.

By CBS New York Team
 

Cooking the perfect turkey

Talking turkey with Butterball's Thanksgiving hotline 05:06

If you've ever tackled making the big meal, you know how overwhelming it can be. But help is just a phone call away. 

The Butterball Turkey-Talk Hotline is a lifeline for home cooks feeling the pressure.

Related Story: Safety tips for deep frying a Thanksgiving turkey, and more

CBS2's Mary Calvi spoke with Mary Alice Coffey, a turkey-talk hotline supervisor who has answered questions from panicked cooks for the past 29 years. 

CLICK HERE for the full interview.

By CBS New York Team
 

Coping with common holiday stressors

How to avoid common holiday stressors 04:54

'Tis the season for stress. Family get-togethers, spending money, cooking a huge meal can all build up and make a mess out of your holiday dinner. 

CBS2's Cindy Hsu spoke with Dr. Niloo Dardashti, an adult, couples and workplace psychologist with Manhattan Psychology Group, to talk about why we seem to get so stressed out around the holidays and how to handle some common holiday stressors.

CLICK HERE for the full interview.

By CBS New York Team
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