Balloons, bands, celebrities and Santa: Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade kicks off


The term “Black Friday” in relation to shopping the day after Thanksgiving is most often traced to Philadelphia where police had to deal with large crowds who thronged the streets of the city before the annual Army-Navy game and to take advantage of sales. According to the Dec. 18, 1961, issue of Public Relations News, a newsletter, it became customary for police to refer to post-Thanksgiving shopping as Black Friday and Black Saturday because of the headaches they created.

Retailers began taking ownership of the term in the late 1980s as the opening bell for the holidays. Of course, Black Friday has morphed more accurately into a month of offers that begin in October, when Halloween jack-o'-lanterns are still flickering.

A number of stores that were closed on Thanksgiving, including Walmart and Target, reopen early Friday as the holiday shopping season begins in earnest.

Here are the store hours on Black Friday for some prominent national chains.

Walmart Black Friday hours

Walmart will open at 6 a.m. on Black Friday.

Target Black Friday hours

Most Target stores will open at 6 a.m. on Black Friday.

Home Depot Black Friday hours

Home Depot will open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Black Friday.

Lowe’s Black Friday hours

Lowe’s will open at 6 a.m. on Black Friday.

Best Buy Black Friday hours

Best Buy will open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Black Friday.

Macy’s Black Friday hours

Macy’s will open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Black Friday.

TJ Maxx Black Friday hours

Most TJ Maxx, Marshalls, HomeGoods, Sierra, and Homesense stores are scheduled to open at 7 a.m.

Kohls Black Friday hours

Kohls will open at 5 a.m. on Black Friday.

Dick’s Sporting Goods Black Friday hours

Dick’s Sporting Goods will open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Black Friday.

PetSmart Black Friday hours

PetSmart will open at 7 a.m. on Black Friday.

The average price of gasoline in the United States has decreased, creating potential savings for consumers just in time for Thanksgiving. Oil prices have dropped significantly in recent months, leading to lower fuel costs. The national average price for a gallon of regular gasoline has fallen to $3.28, down 6 cents from the previous week and 27 cents from a month ago. This is notably lower than the $3.64 price from the same time last year. Gas prices have even dipped below $3 a gallon in several states, with notable decreases in Montana, Florida, and Colorado.

 The drop in oil prices is attributed to weak fuel demand in China and parts of Europe, alongside strong production in Brazil, Canada, and the United States. Additionally, diesel prices have also decreased, which is expected to have a positive impact on food prices due to diesel's role in agriculture and heavy transport. The recent postponement of the planned OPEC Plus meeting has added to the uncertainty, with tensions arising among member countries regarding production quotas. Despite this, it's been predicted that holiday travel will be more affordable, with lower hotel stay prices and rental car costs.  

Beloved characters like Snoopy and SpongeBob SquarePants will take to the skies above New York City on Thursday while bands march along the streets below as the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade ushers in the holiday season.

The parade starts on Manhattan’s Upper West Side and makes its way alongside Central Park in front of big crowds and a national television audience before ending up in front of Macy’s flagship store on 34th Street.

Among the big names performing is Cher, who just released her first Christmas album. The Oscar-, Emmy- and Grammy Award-winner has a prime spot — performing just before the arrival of Santa Claus, which marks the end of the parade.

Other celebrities and musical groups taking part include Jon Batiste, Bell Biv DeVoe, Brandy, Jessie James Decker, Pentatonix, and Miss America 2023 Grace Stanke. The parade also includes performances from the casts of some Broadway shows.

New balloons debuting this year include Leo the lizard, a character from a Netflix film, who is more than 40 feet (12.5 meters) tall, as well as ones that have been there before — like SpongeBob, coming in at 44 feet (13.4 meters).

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.

It’s “going to be a magical experience, an experience full of spectacle, full of entertainment, full of joy, full of celebration,” said Will Ross, executive producer of the parade.

The parade isn’t just about what’s going on in the skies, though. At street level, the procession includes more than two dozen floats, interspersed with marching bands from around the country and a number of clown crews among the 8,000 people participating, organizers said.

This will be the 97th time the parade has been held since 1924.

The broadcast is hosted by Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb, and Al Roker from “Today” and airs on NBC.

A storm system traveling through the Rockies and the Plains will have enough cold air to work with that snow will be widespread through the end of the Thanksgiving Day week and into the busy travel weekend.

Forecast models show higher elevations in Utah, Wyoming, and Colorado could be measuring the snowfall in feet, while communities around Denver and Wichita, Kansas, could pick up on several inches of snow.

The cold weather and snowy precipitation will likely lead to some travel slowdowns on Interstates 25, 70, and 80.

For the more southern communities in Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas, it could be their first round of snow since the spring.

Snowfall forecast
(FOX Weather)

More than 7 million Americans are under winter weather alerts due to the expected snowfall and brisk conditions.

Most of Colorado is under a Winter Weather Advisory for accumulations of between 2-5 inches from Thursday evening through Saturday morning.

National Weather Service meteorologists warned roads will likely become slick and hazardous, which could impact travelers on Friday.

"A snowstorm is shaping up to bring several inches of snow and more than a foot in areas in higher elevations. The widespread snow comes for the northern Rockies on Thursday and then moves farther down towards the south as we get towards Black Friday and then through the weekend," said FOX Weather meteorologist Haley Meier.

Whether flying or driving, meteorologists suggest allowing extra time to reach your destination.

Saturday forecast
(FOX Weather)

Sunday travel forecast

The precipitation will enter the Great Lakes region by Sunday, which is expected to be one of the busiest travel days of the year.

Any accumulations are expected to remain light, and temperatures are expected to keep most of the precipitation falling in the form of rain.

The wet weather will likely result in slick roadways throughout the Midwest, which can cause travel problems.

Sunday forecast
(FOX Weather)

Thanksgiving is right around the corner. By now, you’ve almost certainly been to the grocery store. Your turkey is probably basting in the fridge and your pumpkin pie might be daring you to cut an early slice — you might have even prepped a few sides ahead of time. But one thing is certain: your heart rate spiked as the cashier scanned each additional Thanksgiving staple at checkout. While you know you paid more than last year, the corporate media is determined to make you believe otherwise.

“Thanksgiving will be less expensive this year,” CNN audaciously claimed. CBS reassured consumers that their “Turkey Day feast is likely to be cheaper this year.” “Thanksgiving dinner may be cheaper than you think,” USA Today in an obvious nod to White House talking points. As CNN reported, the White House is “eager to promote” lower costs as Joe Biden heads into the campaign season.

But it was NBC that gave away the game. “Thanksgiving costs are down from turkey to travel,” an NBC headline read, implying price drops across the board. The truth, however, requires you to read between the lines. Turkey prices are indeed down from last year’s high, as the avian flu ravaged turkey production. Travel costs are down in some areas as well. Yet for just about everything else you will be paying more.

The Consumer Price Index continued to rise in October, while inflation remained elevated at 3.2 percent — up further from the 7.7 percent inflation in October of the previous year. So across the board, costs have risen over 10 percent these last two years. However, according to E. J. Antoni, a research fellow at the Heritage Foundation, that figure doesn’t even tell the whole story. The cost of Thanksgiving dinner has increased by a whopping 26 percent since Biden took office, the Daily Caller News Foundation reported.

Turkey's prices, while modestly down from last year, increased over 30 percent since January 2021. Stuffing, bread, desserts, cranberry sauce, gravy, corn — all rose by 20 percent or more since Biden took office. Potatoes remained relatively stable, at only about 14 percent. Green beans are a bargain, experiencing only 8.9 percent inflation.

“After two and a half years of abnormally high price increases, Americans are left with the most expensive Thanksgiving ever,” Antoni told the DCNF.

“As the White House’s mouthpieces like to say, ‘That’s Bidenomics in action!’

As Antoni points out, high consumer prices are the logical conclusion of the budgetary blowout that came under Bidenomics. But it’s the White House and media framing that is perhaps even more indicative of the utter catastrophe that is Bidenomics.

The official party line is that “Bidenomics is working” — and if you don’t believe it, that’s your problem. In speech after speech, Biden continues to tout the strength of the economic recovery under his watch. He often cites macroeconomic indicators  — the type of figures that academics and bureaucrats study and distort in inscrutable white papers, but that don’t translate to what average people feel as they struggle to put the same Thanksgiving meal on the table that their kids have always been accustomed to. What’s worse, the administration can’t even be trusted to honestly represent those indicators.

For example, job growth is useful for determining a broad economic picture. It complements the unemployment rate, showing whether the typical business is doing well enough to hire new people. High job growth suggests the economy is in a strong position to allocate a job for anybody who wants one. But that doesn’t mean that you, as an individual,will be able to find a job that suits your needs and skills. Neither does it mean that every business is in a position to hire. Without a comparison to other times and conditions, one static figure means little.

Therefore, look slightly below the surface and you might find that solid job growth on paper obscures a much less rosy reality. While Vice President Kamala Harris bragged how Biden dwarfed the Trump economy by “creating” 13 million new jobs, statistics from Trading Economics show that the current employment rate is still slightly lower than it was just before COVID hit. Biden’s gains are merely replacing the jobs temporarily lost during COVID-19. In fact, the rebound occurred at a much slower rate under Biden than it did under Trump.

The same goes for inflation. While Biden is hoping to boast of lower prices this Thanksgiving — the appropriate answer is to ask, “Compared to what?” Yes, compared to last year, the rate of inflation has slowed down, but it is still going up. While prices may have only increased 3 percent this October, they increased over 7 percent last October, and over 6 percent the October before that. The White House truly believes the American people are too stupid to do basic math.

In this way, Thanksgiving dinner becomes the perfect metaphor for Bidenomics. Without giving any other context, the White House and their corporate media allies can technically get away with saying “prices are down.” They can even point to the cheaper turkey, a veritable benchmark for all things Thanksgiving. But dig slightly below the surface, or even just take a closer look at your grocery bill, and the lies, manipulations, and distortions all begin to unravel.

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