Thanksgiving in New York is once again a gas.
Spectators returned to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade for the first time in two years, after the COVID pandemic turned the 2020 event into a block-long spectacle without in-person attendees.
But this year the parade’s enormous balloons, cheerful performances and animatronic turkey floated, marched and rolled from the Upper West Side to Herald Square as thousands of happy spectators looked on.
Proof of COVID-19 vaccination was required to attend this year’s parade, a mandate that displaced few as at least 75% of New Yorkers — and 88% of adults — have received at least one dose of the vaccine.
This year’s parade featured a few new gigantic faces, including a 41-foot-tall inflated depiction of baby Yoda — formally known as Grogu — from the Disney show “The Mandalorian.”
A redesigned version of the burger clown Ronald McDonald also rolled out this year, two years after the fast food chain’s balloon was removed from the event at 42nd Street and Sixth Avenue when a rip in its leg caused it to deflate. The rip was sparked by heavy holiday winds — but this year’s weather was mild and no balloons suffered major injuries.