Beagle Scout Snoopy Balloon Debuts in Macy's Parade

NYC event was briefly interrupted by protesters
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 23, 2023 2:34 PM CST
Holiday Season Kicks Off With Macy's Parade
Pro-Palestinian protesters get arrested by the police during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on Thursday, Nov. 23, 2023, in New York   (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)

Beloved characters like Snoopy and SpongeBob SquarePants soared through the skies above New York City on Thursday and bands marched along the streets below as the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade ushered in the holiday season. The parade started on Manhattan's Upper West Side making its way alongside Central Park in front of big crowds and a national television audience before ending in front of Macy's flagship store on 34th Street. Among the big names performing was Cher, who just released her first Christmas album . The Oscar-, Emmy- and Grammy Award-winner had a prime spot — performing just before the arrival of Santa Claus, which marks the end of the parade.

New balloons debuting this year include Leo the lizard, a character from a Netflix film, who is more than 40 feet tall. Some characters, like Snoopy, have been in the parade for many years, but this year's balloon is a new Beagle Scout Snoopy version—celebrating the 50th anniversary of his first appearance in the Peanuts comics, the AP reports. Other celebrities and musical groups taking part included Jon Batiste, Bell Biv DeVoe, Brandy, Jessie James Decker, Pentatonix, and Miss America 2023 Grace Stanke. The parade also included performances from the casts of some Broadway shows.

The parade was briefly disrupted when about a half-dozen protesters in jumpsuits covered in fake blood glued themselves to the street just in front of a float carrying characters from McDonald's. They carried a banner that said "Free Palestine" and "Genocide then. Genocide now" and were taken into custody. The parade continued as police worked. This is the 97th time the parade has been held since 1924. President Biden and his wife Jill called NBC during the parade. The president told Al Roker that people should take a moment to be thankful to live in a country with so much. "We're the greatest nation in the world. We should focus on that. We should focus on dealing with our problems and stop the rancor," Biden said. (More Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade stories.)

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