The opening of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade telecast brought back many memories for me. I remember my father enjoying and singing the song “New York, New York” from On the Town but it was the location that really made me nostalgic. In a pre-recorded segment, actors from On the Town danced out of the American Museum of Natural History and between the parade floats and balloons lined up on Central Park West. As the camera followed them, I recognized the buildings that are the backdrop of all my father’s Thanksgiving Day parade photos from the 1960s and ’70s.
Of the six new balloons this year, I thought the best looking was Thomas the Tank Engine. The new Paddington balloon looked more “realistic” than cartoony. I suppose that is what he’ll look like in the upcoming movie. I usually think of Paddington as looking like the illustrations from the series of books I read as a child.
The Goldfish Crackers float was very clever. It looked like a miniature Macy’s parade populated by Goldfish complete with a Goldfish balloon. Speaking of fish, I wouldn’t want to wear the fish head costumes worn by the volunteers walking alongside the Sea World float. They looked silly.
The gravity-defying Cirque du Soleil used trampolines on their float to make it look like someone was rewinding and then fast-forwarding the video.
Current pop star Meghan Trainor sang an excerpt from her new song “Lips Are Movin,” which sounded a lot like her last song “All About That Bass.” The clip had a very similar bass line and the lyrics even mentioned the word bass.
I endorse the new Thanksgiving song “Give Thanks!” sung by William Blake on the Marion-Carole Showboat float if only because it reminds us not to overlook Thanksgiving to get to Christmas too quickly. It would be funny if the trend caught on and if in the far-off future some radio station went “all-Thanksgiving” for a month.
The prepared script read by Matt Lauer very generously described the band KISS as “the masters of rock.” Their performance was enjoyable and added a different vibe to the parade, especially with the pyrotechnics shooting off the float at the end of the song. It’s just that I might reserve the term “the masters of rock” for a different band.
The weather affected some of the performers. At least three members of the Georgia State University color guard fell on the slick street. I wondered if they slipped on the confetti and streamers left on the street from the KISS performance moments before. Raindrops on the camera lens made it look like they were trying to blur the faces and hide the identities of the comedic Red Hot Mamas from Coeur d’Alene.
The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade used to be called the Macy’s Christmas Parade. It is supposed to usher in the holiday shopping season, which now seems to start right after Halloween. In addition to the arrival of Santa Claus, the parade featured the Foothill High School Band performing “Nutcracker a la Vegas” and Idina Menzel singing a great version of “All I Want for Christmas Is You” from her new Christmas album.