iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — With the sound of helicopters buzzing low in the sky and a heavy police presence on the streets, New York City was under tight security Thursday as it hosted the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Security for the iconic parade was heightened even as officials said there was no specific or credible threat.
The additional security measures come after a year of attacks by the terrorist group ISIS. In July a French-Tunisian man ploughed into revelers celebrating France’s National Day in the coastal town of Nice with a grenade-filled truck; bombs exploded at a Brussels airport and a metro station in the Belgium city in April; and in June three suicide attackers killed 44 people with gunfire and explosions at the Atatürk International Airport in Istanbul.
Anxious to get a spot close enough to see the floats, reveling families weaved around dump trucks filled with sand, acting as a barrier against vehicular attacks on side streets that flanked the parade route. At key intersections, officers in tactical gear stood guard with assault rifles strapped around their chest.
Despite the measures, the spirit of the day did not seem to be tempered.
Long lines had formed outside of cafés near the route in New York’s Upper West Side neighborhood, as residents and visitors sought warm drinks to ward against the chilly temperature. Street vendors gleefully hawked hats looking like turkeys to passersby.
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