Photo: DON EMMERT, AFP / Getty Images
NEW YORK (AP) – Cold weather and stormy winds did not quell the excitement at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, where viewers wrapped themselves in blankets and sleeping bags and balloons of giant characters They flew lower than normal.
SpongeBob, Charlie Brown, the Grinch and other large balloons were allowed to take off just before Thursday's parade, although some floated to heights remarkably lower than normal over people holding their bonds, such as the extended hand of the "Daily" of a Wimpy Child ". "Globe that seemed to hit some of their handlers on their heads covered in woolen hats.
The 21 degrees (minus 6 degrees Celsius) at first made it one of the coldest Thanksgiving days in the city in decades, and the temperature warmed only a few degrees as the parade progressed.
The officers were ready to order the 16 helium-filled balloons at a lower altitude or completely eliminated if the sustained winds exceeded 23 mph (37 kph) and the gusts exceeded 34 mph (54 kph). There have been setbacks and injuries in the past when the bursts have diverted them.
Passersby refused to let the cold stop the parade, removing blankets and sleeping bags to watch the balloons, bands and floats pass by.
Tony Stout had camped with his family since 2am to make sure they could see their son, who was in the parade with the music band at Ohio State University.
"Ohhh, I'm freezing and numb, but excited," said Stout, who had traveled from Columbus, Ohio.
Dylan Mahoney, who has come to the parade every year for the past twelve years, said he stayed warm in layers, including several pairs of socks.
"It's one of the coldest," he said, but "we've seen it before in the rain."
He said he loves the tradition of attending the parade, driving from Leonia, New Jersey, in the early hours to see the bands and balloons and compete for a good place.
Animators like Diana Ross, John Legend, Martina McBride and the Muppets from "Sesame Street" acted in the freezing cold.
Later, Macy apologized for the "technical difficulties" after the fans entered the singer Rita Ora for what they saw as an uncomfortable lip synch.
The British artist was not synchronized with the voices that viewers heard during parts of her televised performance of "Let You Love Me," and the episode sparked a flurry of online commentary.
Macy apologized via Twitter and said that "several recording artists experienced technical difficulties that had a negative impact on their performance" and that they were beyond the control of the artists.
Ora tweeted thanks to Macy's for "honesty."
In another moment that drew attention, a performance of the Broadway musical "The Prom" included a kiss between two members of the female cast. The producers told Entertainment Weekly that it was the "first LGBTQ kiss" of the parade.
The representatives of Macy & # 39; s and the NBCUniversal radio station did not answer the questions.
Thursday was one of the coldest Thanksgiving Day in New York City, with data from the National Weather Service showing that the temperature reached a maximum of 27 degrees (minus 2 degrees Celsius). The coldest recorded was in 1871, when the warmest was 22 degrees (minus 5 degrees Celsius).
The Macy's parade did not begin until 1924.
Police Commissioner James O'Neill said thousands of officers were stationed along the parade route. They included counterterrorism teams with long weapons, plainclothes officers mixed with the crowd and a new team of K-9 teams that can detect explosives a few hundred feet away.
The parade runs 46 blocks from the west side of Central Park to Macy's main store in downtown Manhattan.
The event has about 8,000 protesters, including high school bands from all over the country, and two dozen floats, which culminated with the arrival of Santa Claus.