This post has been written by a guest writer – Charlotte.
Thanksgiving in New York is an exciting time in the city largely due to the world famous, annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. This uniquely American extravaganza marks the beginning of the holiday season for many. Each year millions of people line Manhattan’s streets to watch the parade and millions more watch the live streaming on TV. Since 1924 when the first parade took place, unique floats, the country’s best marching bands, clowns, cheerleaders and celebrities take to the streets of the city, the highlight for me however has to be the giant balloons based upon well loved characters such as Snoopy, Shrek and Spiderman which glade through the streets – looking almost surreal against the back drop of some of the world’s most iconic and well known buildings. The 3 hour event starts on 25th November 2010 at 9am at 77th Street and Central Park West and ends at 34th Street and 7th Avenue, home to Macy’s, the world famous department store hosting the parade. With spectators arriving as early as 6:30am, make sure you plan where you want to watch from well in advance and don’t forget to dress warmly and your cup of coffee!
For those around the evening before, Thanksgiving Eve, New Yorkers gather in the streets around the American Museum of Natural History to watch the famous giant balloons be inflated. This massive task takes place between 3pm and 8pm although it is thought best to arrive around 5pm when the balloons really start to come to life. An increasing number of people are choosing to watch the parade from the New York hotels lining the route, with November temperatures a bit on the chilly side to say the least, a prime view from a cozy, warm hotel room will provide respite from both the freezing temperatures and some much needed peace and quiet for those who want to distance themselves from the large crowds. Unsurprisingly, this is a very popular way to watch the parade and hotel rooms can be booked up to one year in advance, when picking a room to watch the parade book one that is on a mid-level around level 7 – 15 anything higher and the floats and balloons will look tiny, anything lower and you will be craning your neck to see. However you choose to watch the parade, you’re sure to have a truly unique New York experience that you will remember for many more Thanksgivings to come.