Earlier this morning, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Macy’s announced 5,000 tickets for the city’s annual Thanksgiving Day Parade will go to families who have been impacted by Hurricane Sandy.
“Thanksgiving is a time to enjoy friends and family and reflect on life’s blessings, but this will be a particularly difficult holiday for many New Yorkers who suffered terrible losses as a result of Hurricane Sandy,” Mr. Bloomberg said in a statement. “So many people have been donating their time, energy, and resources to helping families hit hard by the storm recover, and we hope that taking part in a tradition like the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will make their holiday just a little brighter.”
Many residents of the city are still without electricity and heat, especially in hard-hit neighborhoods in southern Brooklyn, the Rockaway Peninsula, and Staten Island. Macy’s hopes the tickets will help ease their suffering, however.
“A holiday tradition that brings together millions in reflection and celebration, it is our ultimate hope that we can provide some comfort to those most affected by Hurricane Sandy and that they leave the parade knowing that our 8,000 marchers, the City and the nation are behind them as they recover from this devastating storm.” Amy Kule, the executive producer of the parade, explained.
The move might be intended to ameliorate a public relations situation similar to the New York City Marathon controversy. Mr. Bloomberg had initially backed the marathon but wilted under a storm of public accusations that the race was insensitive while families were still suffering.
Mr. Bloomberg, along with President Barack Obama and Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, is currently touring the storm’s damage. Local elected officials will help determine who will receive the free parade tickets.