NEW YORK (AP) — Millions of Americans across the country are marking the holiday with lots of turkey, football, parades and early shopping, while many are overcoming some nasty weather and power outages. At the White House, President Barack Obama is spending a quiet Thanksgiving with a traditional meal.
Here’s a look at how Americans are celebrating:
A Macy’s Thanksgiving Day success
Heavy security including bomb-sniffing dogs and police helicopters protected spectators of all ages who lined the route of the nationally televised Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, which counted Thomas the Tank Engine, Paddington bear and the Red Mighty Morphin Power Ranger among its six new giant balloons.
Before the parade was over, snow flurries had replaced drizzle as thousands of people discovered they could get no closer than a long block away from the colorful spectacle.
“I can’t go to the front. I can only see from here,” said Ivan Souza, of Florianopolis, Brazil, as he watched with his wife and two children.
Daryl Winchester, 17, of Queens, was luckier, snagging a front-row spot across the street from grandstands where the parade began.
“This is great. It’s nice to feel so festive for the holidays,” she said as she took pictures, waved and shouted encouragement to parade participants.
Shannon Hampton, a Lakeland, Florida, resident celebrating her 18th birthday with a friend, said the parade was exciting.
“My favorite part has to be the balloons because they are so much bigger in person than you think they would be,” she said.
How the First Family
President Barack Obama is spending a quiet Thanksgiving at the White House, where the belly-stuffing menu featured all the holiday’s basics. He also continued a tradition of telephoning members of the armed forces to thank them for their service.
The first family feasted on thyme-roasted turkey and honey-baked ham, cornbread stuffing and oyster stuffing, braised winter greens and macaroni and cheese. Don’t forget the green bean casserole, sweet potato gratin, mashed potatoes, dinner rolls and pies.
Obama says Thanksgiving is his favorite holiday “because, more than any other, it is uniquely American.”
In the dark
Power outages from a major snowstorm forced some in the Northeast to celebrate Thanksgiving much like the pilgrims and Native Americans did almost 400 years ago — in the dark.
The outages were particularly bad in northern New England, where about 200,000 customers remained without power in New Hampshire on Thursday afternoon and about 80,000 were without electricity in Maine.
More than 35,000 New York utility customers were without power Thursday afternoon and about 15,000 customers lacked power in New Jersey.
In Putney, Vermont, Mike Mrowicki was in the middle of baking squash and making apple-cranberry crisp when his lights flickered off. Mrowicki said Thursday his family will improvise on its meal for 10 people.