The balloon of Goku is seen during the 2018 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York, the United States, on Nov. 22, 2018. Despite frigid cold and strong winds, millions of people from New York and around the world lined the streets of Manhattan to watch the dazzling display of balloons and floats at the 92nd annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on Thursday. (Xinhua/Wang Ying)
Despite frigid cold and strong winds, millions of people from New York and around the world lined the streets of Manhattan to watch the dazzling display of balloons and floats at the 92nd annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on Thursday.
Many spectators, huddled under blankets and behind guardrails, have waited for hours at the 77 St./ Central Park West where the three-hour annual spectacle kicked off at 9 a.m. (1400 GMT).
The temperature dipped to 19 degrees Fahrenheit (-7.2 degrees Celsius) in the morning, which tied Nov. 28, 1901 and Nov. 30, 1876, for the second coldest Thanksgiving in the city, according to the National Weather Service for New York.
The coldest Thanksgiving in New York was recorded on Nov. 30, 1871 when the temperature dropped to as low as 15 degrees Fahrenheit (-9.4 degrees Celsius).
"I don't feel cold because I really want to see the balloons," said Michelle, who arrived in the Big Apple the day before from Scotland with her friends. Beating the jet lag, the girls came to see the parade as early as 7 a.m. (1200 GMT) for a good spot.
"I've been to New York for six times and it's my first Thanksgiving here. I can't miss it (the parade)," Michelle added.
Zac Collins, coming from Texas, took his family to New York during the holiday just for watching the parade. "My daughter wants to come here and see this," said Zac, pointing to a teenage girl sitting on a carpet behind the guardrail, covered in layers of scarves.
The city has issued an extreme cold weather alert for Thursday and urged anyone going outside to wear hats, scarves, gloves and layered clothing and to keep their fingertips, earlobes, and noses covered to prevent frostbite.
The parade, which began in 1924, featured some 8,000 marchers, including high school bands from across the country, and 16 massive balloons and 26 large floats. Among the balloons and floats are the 53-foot-high (16 meters) Pikachu from the Pokemon franchise, a 67-foot-high (20 meters) Ronald McDonald as well as Little Cloud by FriendsWithYou and Sunny the Snowpal, according to Macy's parade website.
Security was beefed up for the event as thousands of police officers were stationed along the parade route, which concludes at Macy's flagship store on 34th Street and 7th Avenue. Counterterrorism teams with long guns were on hand, with plainclothes officers mixing into the crowd. Throughout the city, security bars could be seen blocking access to mailboxes and trash disposals in an effort to curb any possible bombs.