The Parade known far and wide

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Monday, November 28, 2022. Today’s Diary is the annual, automatic follow-up of our coverage of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. We’ve been running this two day coverage for quite a few years now. It is mainly the result of our friend and contributor Paige Peterson who lives on Central Park West where the Parade is gathered on the night before, every year, and put-together and launched on its pathway to the Macy’s Department Store on 34th Street.

When I was a kid growing up in Massachusetts, the Parade was known far and wide, and kids always imagined what it was like to actually be there to see it. Macy’s was famous then as the world’s largest department store, and to an out-of-towner another example of the greatness of New York City. It was like the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree; they were the holiday duo in mind’s of many all over America.

The Pilgrim balloon at Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in 1946. I was 5 years old when this balloon came to town. Photo via Macy’s Inc.

I do not attend in person. Paige, who has made a special family occasion out of it over the years, always has a cocktail party the night before. There guests could get a glimpse of all the magic in the process of putting the floats together. Not that her guests spent much time watching that while at the party. Later that evening Paige, who also had houseguests for the holiday, went out onto street to photograph the process for our Thanksgiving Day Diary.

Then on Thanksgiving Day, she and her family and friends went down the avenue to the apartment of her friend Peter Brown to photograph the Parade as it was being launched and on its way down to Macy’s.

I thought it was sensational, more sensational than ever.  I was a kid again, but this time in the Big Town, watching all the volunteers committed to its conduct surrounded by families in the stands and the Park in its background. It was watching a beautiful moment in these anxious times. Amazing.

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