Macy's Parade Kicks Off Amid Gusty Winds

Sandra and Carole Showalter wait in the rain for the Macy's Parade.

Sandra, left, and Carole Showalter of East Lyme, Conn., wait in the rain along Central Park West for the Macy's Parade Thursday, Nov. 23, 2006 in New York. AP/Julie Jacobson hide caption

itoggle caption AP/Julie Jacobson

It's been a cold and rainy morning in Manhattan, not exactly perfect weather for the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Last year, one of the giant signature balloons went off course and injured two people. This year, the parade organizers aren't taking any chances.

After studying the accident, city officials decided to push back the crowd in some places and cleared obstructions in others. Along the parade route, officials installed seven wind monitoring devices. Parade organizers had also considered grounding the balloons, but allowed them to fly — lower than usual — because of the wind.

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