No known threats to Macy’s Parade, but tight security

NEW YORK – New York is planning tight security around the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade after mass shootings elsewhere in the US, police said Wednesday, stressing there is no known, credible threat to the famous event itself.

The holiday tradition, which draws crowds of participants and spectators, comes two days this year after six people were killed in a shooting at a Walmart in Virginia, and four days after another shooting, five people were killed in a gay nightclub in Colorado Springs. A man is also said to have appeared at the weekend threatened to attack a synagogue was arrested at New York’s Penn Station with a knife, a ski mask, a swastika arm patch and an employee, authorities said.

In light of these events, police will “deploy additional resources to ensure celebrations across the city are safe for everyone,” New York City Police Department Counterterrorism Chief Martine Materasso said at a news conference amid the inflating of the signature Giant balloons of the parade. She said authorities had no evidence of “an active, credible or specific threat” to the event.

Security measures are now almost as familiar as the parade itself. These include heavy weapons teams, explosives detection dogs, a bomb squad, radiological and chemical sensors, drone detection, sand and blocker vehicles, and additional cameras along the route.

Jeff Gennette, CEO of Macy’s, vowed that this year’s parade will be “bigger and better than ever” – so much so that it will start at 8:45 a.m. instead of 9 a.m. to see all the balloons, floats, marching bands, Accommodate singers, cheerleaders and clowns, Broadway casts and Radio City Rockettes. And of course Santa Claus.

New balloons this year These include animated sensation Bluey, Stuart, the one-eyed Minion from Despicable Me 2, as well as new green dinosaur and Diary of a Wimpy Kid balloons.

The largest characters are up to 21 meters long and have 50 handlers holding their ropes, Matt Kaprielian, who oversees the balloons, said in an interview as they were being inflated.

Seeing her up close was “a dream come true” for youngster Sophia Correa Perea.

“You are how gigantic!” She said.

Sam Lo and his family were also impressed when they saw the giant characters take shape.

“This is wonderful — the first time I’ve experienced it live and in person,” Lo said.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, transcribed or redistributed without permission. No known threats to Macy’s Parade, but tight security

Sarah Y. Kim

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