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6 Ways to Make the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade More Entertaining

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
Timothy A. Clary, Getty Images

The 85th annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is scheduled to take place in New York City next Thursday. Watch giant balloons of your favorite characters,  Broadway performances, marching bands, Matt Lauer and… ugh.

We’re already bored.

Sorry, but the parade needs a remix if you want us to keep watching it every year. We love turning a tradition on its head, so here are six ways to make the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade more watchable.

Occupy Snoopy

Let’s face it: 2011 has been “The Year of the Protest.” From Arab Spring to Occupy Wall Street, millions around the world have found a way to express their displeasure with the status quo of their government or societal structure. Incorporating this trend into the parade is easy. Just find a few folks willing to disguise themselves as balloon holders and pretty soon: “Hmmm: It seems as though Snoopy is veering off the planned parade route. …He’s headed to Wall Street.” Holding a giant inflatable Snoopy hostage until your demands are met is about as dramatic as it gets.

Float Pirates

By definition, any parade is very orderly and proper with few real surprises among the regimented divisions. Enter float pirates – organized bands of bloodthirsty thugs who couldn’t afford their own float, or whose concept didn’t get through the application process (Apparently a snuff film isn’t afforded the same opportunity as “Jack and Jill,” the Adam Sandler movie on which it is based. Who knew?).  These pirates would be wildly popular if they stormed the network broadcast stage, as well. Who wouldn’t love to see Al Roker get run through with a scimitar?

Blimp Jousting

Much as we assume is the scene in Kevin James’ bedroom, giant inflatables are always the the main attraction at the Thanksgiving Parade. But with the exception of the occasional wind gust or directionally challenged crew, they don’t provide much excitement after their initial appearance. We’d flip the script by having two blimps – MetLife,Goodyear – complete the parade and then engage in aerial combat over Central Park. The stakes are high, for sure, but you wouldn’t be switching the channel over to the “Hoarders” marathon on A&E during a blimp fight.

Turkey Slingshots

New Yorkers are an exceptionally jaded bunch. It’s difficult to rattle them, because they’ve seen it all (usually on one subway trip). Engage the crowd that lines the parade route by enabling one float per divisional  to randomly  launch fully cooked turkeys – with stuffing, natch – into the crowd via a sturdy slingshot.

A  Burlesque Division

Beautiful women slowly disrobing in a stylish, artistic manner make everything better. Period. These artists – and stripping is an art – could use this retro-hip approach to pump up the wow factor of this parade, which has been going on since the last time burlesque was truly popular.

Combine THE PARADE AND the New York City Marathon

The New York City marathon’s popularity is such that the event’s organizers are considering adding a second day. Really. So, why not Thanksgiving Day?  And it kills two birds with one stone (see what we did there?).  More runners get to race the NYC marathon, but they must do it as part of a parade division. So, just like the marathon, all the New York boroughs get to see the parade.  Sure, it might take 12-15 hours to complete, but just think how awesome it would be to see a giant SpongeBob balloon rolling over the bridges into each borough. It would be like Nickelodeon’s version of “Cloverfield.”

Joe Student is a freelance writer and editor — that is if you consider interviewing Playboy models, athletes and celebs in your spare time ‘writing.’ And, yes, that is his real name. Stop asking. Follow him on Twitter.

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