We actually made it to the NYC Thanksgiving parade balloon inflation event tonight, which I referenced in an earlier blog post. Wow. Recent events in Las Vegas and Tribeca resulted in heightened security measures – apparently there were police snipers on rooftops that I wasn’t even aware of, although we saw numerous officers with assault weapons and police dogs. First of all, we were let off our bus (M79) at 86th and Central Park West due to closures at our intended destination at 79th and Central Park West. From there, we walked down to 79th, only to be told to cut across west to Columbus, and then walk down to 74th. We were bottlenecked and snaked in with what felt like 100K people, and then a good two hours later, were face-to-face with the balloons for tomorrow’s Thanksgiving Parade. Finally, the light at the end of the tunnel.
Major faux pas on my side – if only I’d looked closer at the feature image I’d posted earlier, I’d have seen the entry and exit points – doh – instead of trekking all the way down from 86th St. Ouch. Lesson learned.
The bitterly cold winds did not help. I had forgotten my gloves and dug my hands into my pockets for most of the time. Finally, we saw the parade balloons to our left, all inflated and ready to go. We saw Olaf, Hello Kitty, Poppy from the Trolls movie, and other usual suspects. My main objective was for my daughter to enjoy them – she did, but after a full day of school, a tennis lesson, and a 2 hour walk, her enthusiasm was waning. And then my husband made a joke: “I’m feeling a little deflated after all that effort.”
So, since I touted it so excitedly, I would now say that if you want to experience the day before, please go earlier than we did (we left at 5:30), because numerous route closures + police activity = massive delays + too many people! I wonder if braving the parade crowds on Turkey Day would have been easier. In any case, we did it and I’m glad we did- but once is probably enough :).