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Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade marches on after interruption from protesters

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade marches on after interruption from protesters
Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade marches on after interruption from protesters 02:05

NEW YORK -- Protesters temporarily interrupted the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade as it marched through New York City. 

The iconic balloons and marching bands had to veer around the demonstrators, who laid down in the street, but it did not stop the 97-year event from going on.

It's not yet clear what the protest was about or if anyone was arrested. 

CBS New York's Jenna DeAngelis spent Thursday morning along the parade route, where the sights and sounds lit up the faces of all ages lined up to take in the near-century-year-old tradition.

She spoke with a family from Virginia, who said the parade lived up to its hype.

"It means a lot, because I've never see the Macy's day parade and I'm so excited," Syndney Abeyta told DeAngelis.

"Definitely in person versus watching it on TV. I grew up in California always watching it on TV, so being here is definitely a first-time experience," Nacho Abeyta said.

"This is the best experience. We're excited," said Shermila McKinney of Mississippi, adding when asked if the parade lived up to the hype, "One hundred percent, yes!"

THANKSGIVING DAY PARADE: John Dias is out on the route, giving us a look at this year’s parade! 🦃

Posted by CBS New York on Thursday, November 23, 2023

There's nothing quite like a front-row seat to see the six balloonicles, 31 floats, 18 performers, 29 clown crews, 11 marching bands, and more. Seven new featured balloons debuted this year, including Kung Fu Panda's Po and the Pillsbury Doughboy.

"It's special to be here, I love coming to the city," said Brianna Laucella, of Wantagh.

Twins Donald and Ephram have their birthday coming up in two days. Donald has stage 4 high-risk neuroblastoma. The parade is how he wanted to celebrate turning 8. The NYPD made it happen, giving him special access.

"To be able to celebrate my kids and have him with us another year just means everything and that's what were grateful for," mother and Staten Island resident Nickell Morgan said.

Ahead of the parade, the NYPD shared its safety measures, including new technology.     

"Security begins the day after last year ends," Commissioner Edward Caban said.

"We can send our drone truck to the location, get a bird's-eye view of exactly what's going on," Assistant Commissioner Kaz Daughtry said.

"We're able to monitor the balloons, keep an eye on people, and make sure everyone is safe," Chief of Department Jeffrey Maddrey added.   

Police said they plan for the parade all year, aiming for a safe and happy Thanksgiving for all. 

See our special coverage of Wednesday's balloon inflation event here.

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