New York, Nov 26 (IANS): Hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers lined the streets to enjoy the annual Thanksgiving parade.
Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade this year made a full return following a much shorter and mostly virtual one in 2020 at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.
New Yorkers are facing a kind of new normal in their life amid the continuing pandemic, inflation and safety protocols, Xinhua news agency reported.
The parade on Thursday featured 15 giant character balloons, 28 floats, 36 novelty and heritage inflatables, more than 800 clowns, ten marching bands and nine performance groups, a host of musical stars, and Santa Claus, according to a release by Macy's.
Six new floats made their debut, including Birds of a Feather Stream Together by the streaming service Peacock, Celebration Gator by Louisiana Office of Tourism, Gravy Pirates by the Kraft Heinz Company, Magic Meets the Sea by Disney Cruise Line.
The event was subject to tight security measures with a number of late spectators being kept one block away from the route of the parade.
Days ago, a vehicle plowed through a Christmas parade in suburban Milwaukee in Wisconsin, killing six people and injuring over 60.
US President Joe Biden on Thursday called Al Roker, one of the hosts of Macy's Thanksgiving parade, saying, "My message is after two years, you're back, America's back."
Measures were still in place to contain infections from coronavirus as the seven-day average of new Covid-19 cases has been hovering around 90,000 in the US.
Parade staffers and volunteers were required to be vaccinated against Covid-19 and wear masks, while some singers and performers could take their masks off.
Macy's and New York City also encouraged spectators to cover their faces though there was no mandate for inoculation.
The Thanksgiving holiday also came at a time when Americans have been facing inflation pressures.
Macy's, a household retail brand, is offering discounts to woo shoppers through both online and offline channels.
Macy's has been running tests in the last three months to see which kinds of goods are sensitive to price changes and which ones could fetch higher prices without hurting sales much.
US low-end retail brand Dollar Tree Inc. on Tuesday announced that it would raise the benchmark unit price to $1.25 from $1 at its stores all across the country following earlier pricing tests.
"Now, that's 125 cents. There's no more 99 cents. Everything is going up, all over the world," said a Brooklyn resident who only gave his name as Jose, who bought some plastic cups and gift bags from a Dollar Tree store on Thursday.
"If you go to the supermarket and you pay $50 or $75, you get nothing," Jose said.
"When you have a big family, like three or four kids, that's very hard," he added.
The price of turkey has gone up from $1.29 per pound in 2020 to the current $1.89 to $2.49, according to Jose.
He said his holiday wish is all of the family would be healthy. "We can work, we get the money."