New York City changes Thanksgiving parade route

The balloon Snoopy floats above the street before the start of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York Thursday, Nov. 25, 2010. ((AP Photo/Craig Ruttle))

March 8, 2011 2:41:33 PM PST
It appears that the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade will not pass through Times Square next year.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg's office says officials have decided to switch the 2012 parade route from Seventh Avenue to Sixth Avenue.

It was just two years ago when Macy's and city leaders moved the Annual Thanksgiving Day Parade from Broadway to 7th Avenue, all to avoid a new pedestrian plaza.

Now the parade is moving east again.

"This is as angry as I've seen my members. And it's not just the hotels; it's the small shop owners because obviously those people who are watching the parade buy their coffee and things. It's the sign industry which is a huge industry in Times Square," said Tim Tompkins of the Times Square Alliance.

A City Hall spokesman says the relocation is necessary because of street changes coming to the pedestrian plaza area.

Whatever the reason, Times Square street vendors told Eyewitness News a change in the parade route would lead to a huge financial loss.

"Business is going to be down, specifically for that day because we are waiting for that day to get the kids and the families, have hot dog, traditional New York thing," said John Galanopoulos, a vendor.

Vallianatos added that he cannot move from his spot over to 6th Avenue.

Parade watchers are also critical of the plan.

"I think for traditions sake they should leave it like it is. Why change a good thing?" said one person.

"People over here have had opportunities from a bird's eye view by establishing relationships. Now they can establish relationships one block over," a vendor said.

There are twice as many hotel rooms on the current parade route than on 6th Avenue. Tim Tompkins pointed out, if Times Square can handle the crowds on New Year's Eve, it can certainly handle the parade on Thanksgiving.

"After all, what do you want representing New York to the rest of the world? Dynamic Times Square or sleepy 6th Avenue? It's a no-brainer," Tompkins said.