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I have always loved Thanksgiving and in New York, it is indeed a special day. When I was a kid, I would go to my grandparents house and we would have a bunch of people over for breakfast. The menu would be entirely made up of different types of pie. My grandfather liked mince meat and pecan pie. I liked apple and pumpkin. The house would be full of people and everyone would be milling around, eating pie, and watching the parade on TV. Eventually, I grew up and as a teenager, I may have slept through the parade every year, but gotten up for the pie. Then, when I moved to New York, I couldn't wait for Thanksgiving to actually see the parade in person. I know, it's pretty hokey and the crowds are insane, but this was a thing I had been seeing on TV my whole life, and now I finally lived in New York City and I could walk out my door and see the spectacle in person. I was also videotaping everything at the time, so giant balloons floating down Broadway was just the thing for me. I must say, the parade does not disappoint. It is an absolutely crazy experience in person. The fact that there are a million people watching it makes it all the more exciting (albeit slightly annoying at times). The marching bands culled from all over the country blaring their marches, the semi-famous and super famous people and their intricate floats; it's all an incredible display. Granted, it is all basically just a prelude to Black Friday these days, gearing all the consumers up to get great deals at midnight at Macy's. The original idea behind the parade was for all of the newly acclimated immigrants who worked at Macy's to celebrate their new American heritage. But even then, it was really just a publicity stunt for Macy's itself. Over the years, it has become the largest Thanksgiving parade in the nation, and is the one that is on television every Thanksgiving at 9 in the morning. When I first went to it, I was propelled by the sense of irony that I felt towards this event. I have always thought that the balloons are aesthetically pleasing objects and are more than the sum of their parts as most of them are giant advertisements for toys or other products. However, though pleasing to the eye, I thought the whole event was really the worst part of Capitalism, namely the commodification of something that should hold special significance to the country. Thanksgiving, after all, is a day to reflect on all of the good things that one has in life. That is a great reason to celebrate! You are not dead! You should be happy about that, at least. The Parade, I thought, took all of that and threw it out the window, replacing it with a three hour long advertisement for "The World's Largest Department Store" and the things in sold within it's avenue-long walls. But then I attended the event in person. It actually was a celebration of the good things in life! Fun times, music, dancing, people working together to create something for others, community; all of these things were represented and I was so excited about it. It was one of those times where you are so cynical about something, and it surprises you and turns your frown upside down and shows you that, although you might still be right about the broader social implications, at the heart of the event, it is still a parade and parades are supposed to be FUN! Now that I have attended the Parade numerous times over the past 10 years, my next goal for the Thanksgiving Day Parade is to be in it. I would like to hold one of the balloons and march down the street in a "Clifford the Big Red Dog" outfit on and be part of the action. I would like to be on one of the floats with Selena Gomez and throw out candy to all the kids who come in with their parents from Long Island and Westchester at six in the morning. Someday that's going to happen and I will wave to all of you watching on TV, eating your pie for breakfast.