New York, NY – The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on Thursday had some very special guests watching from the front row seats: victims of Superstorm Sandy from New York and elsewhere in the Northeast.
Invites to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade were handed out to those who were displaced by storm, with the victims reserved a special section with some of the best views on the annual parade. Thankfully, the weather held, with the sunny, clear conditions producing temperatures above 50 degrees.
Karen Panetta of the Broad Channel section of Queens was one of those displaced individuals invited to view Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade from a premier position. Speaking on Thursday from her exclusive viewpoint, she told Associated Press:
“It means a lot. We’re thankful to be here and actually be a family and to feel like life’s a little normal today.”
The annual Macy’s parade is attended each year by more than 3 million people while another 50 million tune in to watch it on TV. This year, Sandy victims in New York will have gawked at giant balloons of Papa Smurf, Hello Kitty, Buzz Lightyear, Spider-Man, Mickey Mouse, the Pillsbury Doughboy, and many more. The non-inflatable human stars included the likes of singer Carly Rae Jepsen and Rachel Crow from The X Factor.
As the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade brought some much-needed smiles back to the faces of New Yorkers, Mayor Michael Bloomberg spent the day hailing police, firefighters, armed services personnel, sanitation workers, and volunteers who had helped the city in the tumultuous days after the storm had passed.
On Staten Island, one of the boroughs that suffered most at the hands of Sandy, volunteers from Glen Rock, New Jersey used social media to meet up and distribute food. Volunteer Beth Fernandez told Associated Press:
“We had three carloads of food. The whole town of Glen Rock pitched in. … It’s really cool. It’s my best, my favorite Thanksgiving ever.”
You can check out some of the most memorable sights of the 2012 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade below. Did you attend the parade or watch it on TV? Tell us about your experiences in the comments!