Tight security for Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in Manhattan

New York City held its 91st annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on Thursday with marching bands, floats and giant balloons.
Police officers and parade workers prepare early Thursday morning for the 91st Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.
A member of the New York City police department stands guard while Macy's inflation teams inflate balloons near Central Park ahead of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade on in New York City.
A member of the New York City police department stands guard while Macy's inflation teams inflate balloons near Central Park ahead of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade on in New York City. PHOTO: AFP

NEW YORK - Around 3.5 million people are expected to line Manhattan's streets on Thursday (Nov 23) to watch this year's Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, which will feature enormous balloons, floats, marching bands and clowns on stilts.

The event comes just weeks after a a driver plowed a pickup truck down a crowded bike path along the Hudson River in Manhattan on Oct 31, reported New York Times.

Eight people were killed while 12 were injured before the driver, an Uzbek immigrant, was shot by a police officer in what officials described as the deadliest terrorist attack on New York City since Sept. 11, 2001.

New York City authorities said they will be wrapping the Thanksgiving parade in a tight layer of security, reported USA Today.

There will be police sharpshooters while sand-filled, virtually immovable sanitation trucks will keep vehicles from getting anywhere near the crowd or the floats and balloons.

A posting last year in an English-language magazine of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which took credit for the Oct 31 truck attack mentioned the Thanksgiving parade as "an excellent target."

But the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI told CBS News there are no specific threats or warnings surrounding the holiday.

 

Officials in New York echoed that sentiment on Wednesday.

"I want to assure the people that we swore to protect that anytime something happens anywhere in the world, the NYPD works with our law enforcement partners and studies it and we learn from it and it informs our decision making going forward," said City Police Commissioner James O'Neill.