New York Thanksgiving Parade takes place amid tight security

New York Thanksgiving Parade takes place amid tight security

Thousands of people in New York were surrounded by tight security as they lined the streets for the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Charlie Brown led the signature large inflatable balloons as the parade kicked off with the spraying of confetti and a ceremonial ribbon-cutting.

Costumed characters mingled with revellers and crowds cheered as clowns on bicycles rode by carrying bundles of balloons.

Spectators, some in crowds 10-deep, lined the parade route, which starts on Manhattan's Upper West Side and makes its way down to Macy's flagship store on 34th Street.

The Charlie Brown balloon was one of three new giant character inflatables in this year's parade and joined returning favourites including Thomas The Tank Engine, Hello Kitty and SpongeBob SquarePants.

Among the celebrities expected to attend were Tony Bennett, Aloe Blacc, Sarah McLachlan and a number of Olympic gold medal winners.

But the crowds also saw some sombre sights, such as the more than 80 rubbish trucks, filled with sand, which were placed at intersections and other places to act as barriers against any kind of attack.

While the trucks have been used like this before - most recently to protect Trump Tower - the New York Police Department said it would play a bigger role at this year's parade in the wake of the cargo truck attack in Nice, France, that killed more than 80 people, and a recent posting in an English-language Islamic State group magazine that called the parade "an excellent target".

There was a heavy police presence at the parade, including bomb-sniffing dogs and officers in uniform with assault weapons and portable radiation detectors.

Officers in plain clothes were among the crowds of people.

Authorities said there was no confirmation of any credible threat and urged spectators to come out for the parade.

New York Thanksgiving Parade takes place amid tight security

One prominent person who was not in New York was President-elect Donald Trump, who was spending the holiday at his home in Palm Beach, Florida.

AP


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