Spectacle, security on display at Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Macy's TD parade_451183

NEW YORK (AP)– The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade featured balloons, bands, stars and heavy security in a year marked by attacks on outdoor gathering spots.

Both new faces and old favorites were in the lineup at the extravaganza on a cold morning.

The parade came less than a month after a truck attack on a bike path near the World Trade Center killed eight people, and police went all-out to ensure the spectacle went off safely.

Officers with assault weapons and portable radiation detectors circulated among the crowds, sharpshooters were stationed on rooftops and sand-filled city sanitation trucks were positioned as traffic barriers.

Paradegoers said the ramped-up security made them confident the event was well protected.

There was a minor mishap: A balloon blew into a tree and popped. No one was injured.

Protesters say four activists at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade jumped over barriers and briefly sat down in the street to protest the end of a program that extended protections to immigrants brought illegally to the U.S. as children.

A spokesman for activist group Cosecha says they sat down near the start of the parade at about 9:10 a.m. Police quickly escorted them back. No one was arrested and the parade was not delayed.

Spokesman Roberto Juarez sys the four are recipients of the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

The extravaganza of Americana made its way through 2 ½ miles (3.22 kilometers) of Manhattan on a cold morning, with new faces and old favorites in the lineup.

Paradegoers said the ramped-up security made them confident the event was well protected.

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