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Macy's Parade Takes On Patriotic Flavor


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  • Macy's Parade Takes On Patriotic Flavor

    Macy's Parade Takes On Patriotic Flavor

    If holiday events over the last two months are any indication, the crowd at this week's Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade may be smaller and more subdued, but far more patriotic, than in past Novembers.

    "I don't think anything should deter anyone from coming and enjoying the parade," said Macy's spokeswoman Elina Kazan. "Thanksgiving is our first major holiday since Sept. 11 and it's a chance for all of us to come together."

    The parade, which will feature a new director, Robin Hall; new balloons and a patriotic theme, is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year. As always, it will start at 77th Street and Central Park West at 9 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day and wend its way to Herald Square.

    The 15 giant helium balloons, which will include new characters Pikachu, of Pokemon fame, Nickelodeon's Jimmy Neutron and Kraft Macaroni & Cheese's Cheesasaurus Rex, will be inflated near the start of the parade route beginning at 3 p.m. tomorrow.

    Though in recent years, the parade has been marred by rotten weather and, in 1997, an incident in which a woman was critically injured when a wayward balloon toppled a lamppost into the crowd, officials say they expect the best.

    Mayor Rudolph Giuliani said yesterday that the parade will be just as secure as the World Series and the marathon, and sees no reason to worry about safety.

    Police said parade security will be higher than usual this year, and will include extra uniformed and plainclothes officers roaming the crowd.

    Across the city, security has been visibly tightened at all major events since the Sept. 11 terror attacks, particularly the World Series at Yankee Stadium, where more than 1,000 officers guarded the area. More than 2,500 officers patrolled the route of the New York City Marathon earlier this month, an increase of 200 from last year.

    Three tributes to "The Home of the Brave and the Land of the Free" will roll by on floats during the parade. The Statue of Liberty float will display the flags of all 50 states.

    On a float paying homage to "the spirit of New York," firefighters and police will carry a giant American flag illustrated with a silhouette of the Twin Towers. Following this will be the Big Apple Float, with firefighters, city and Port Authority officers and EMS workers aboard.

    Despite any post-attack jitters, all 12 of the parade's usual marching bands, which hail from schools and military units around the country, are planning to attend, Kazan said.

    "If a couple of children have decided not to participate for safety reasons, we completely understand that, but none of the bands has canceled," she said.

    Parade Route

    The Parade begins at 77th Street & Central Park West at 9 a.m. When the Parade reaches Columbus Circle (59th Street), it turns on to Broadway. Heading down Broadway, the Parade marches through Times Square and down to 34th Street where it turns at Macy's Herald Square and ends on

    Seventh Avenue around noon.

    Best Viewing

    Central Park West between 61st and 72nd Streets, or along Broadway from 57th to 49th Street. In the Times Square area, the barricades are along opposite sides of the street so you're not as close. There are no tickets available to the general public for seating.
    Be Safe Wear Your Vest

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