In response to mass shootings that have occurred elsewhere in the country, New York is preparing tight security surrounding the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, according to police, who also emphasized that there is no known or severe danger to the iconic event itself.
This year’s holiday custom, which attracts large crowds of performers and observers, occurs two days after a shooting at a Virginia Walmart that left six people dead and four days after another shooting that left five at a gay bar in Colorado Springs.
A man who allegedly threatened to assault a synagogue was also apprehended over the weekend, according to authorities, at New York’s Penn Station while carrying a knife, a ski mask, a swastika arm patch, and a companion.
Martine Materasso, the counterterrorism chief for the New York Police Department, spoke at a press conference as the parade’s iconic enormous balloons were inflated, saying that police “will deploy additional resources in light of those events to ensure the festivities across the city are safe for all.”
She said there was “no current, credible, or specific threat” to the event that the authorities were aware of.
The security procedures are now almost as well-known as the procession itself. Heavy weapon teams, explosives detection canines, bomb squads, radioactive and chemical sensors, drone detection, sand trucks, blocker vehicles, and extra cameras along the road are among them.
The parade will be “bigger and better this year than ever before,” according to Macy’s CEO Jeff Gennette, who also announced that it would begin at 8:45 a.m. to accommodate the balloons, floats, marching bands, singers, cheerleaders, clowns, Broadway casts, and Radio City Rockettes, instead of 9. And Santa Claus, of course.
The animated sensation “Bluey,” Stuart the one-eyed Minion from “Despicable Me 2,” as well as a new green dinosaur and “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” balloons, are among the new balloons this year.
According to Matt Kaprielian, the largest characters in charge of the balloons may reach lengths of 70 feet (21 meters) and have 50 handlers holding their ropes.