NEW YORK – New York City’s world-famous Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, a traditional event that dates back to 1924, was held on Thursday amid tight security.
Organized by the Macy’s department-store chain, the parade took place on the streets of Manhattan and was expected to draw 3.5 million people along the entire route.
More than 8,000 people participated in the parade, which was highlighted by 16 giant balloons of characters from kids’ movies and television series, as well as marching bands and dozens of floats.
The event unfolded amid tight security due to a recent truck attack in New York on Oct. 31 that killed eight people and the Oct. 1 mass shooting in Las Vegas that left 58 dead.
The special security measures included lining the street with 81 sand-filled trucks to prevent a repeat of the Oct. 31 attack, when an immigrant from Uzbekistan and sympathizer of the Islamic State terror organization plowed a rented truck into pedestrians and cyclists on a bike bath in Lower Manhattan.
Authorities also posted snipers on rooftops and deployed special units to detect possible explosives.
They said the special security measures were not linked to any specific threat of a new attack in New York City.
The Thanksgiving Day Parade has been held every year since 1924 with the exception of 1942-1945, when it was suspended due to World War II.
The parade featured zoo animals in the first few years, while the giant balloons made their debut in 1927.