Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade to Change Route

The giant balloons and colorful floats that line up for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade will move one block east next year and in 2013 to accommodate work on a pedestrian plaza in Times Square.

The move from Seventh Avenue to Sixth Avenue has infuriated businesses that cater to tens of thousands of spectators who descend on the area for the hugely popular parade.

"Even Mr. Potato Head and Homer Simpson know that Times Square is a better place for a parade than dull Sixth Avenue," Tim Tompkins, president of the Times Square Alliance, which represents many businesses along the parade's traditional route, tells the Associated Press.

Tompkins says the Seventh Avenue route is lined with 50 percent more retail space and restaurants than Sixth Avenue, and also contains 7,000 hotel rooms – twice as many as Sixth Avenue, which is mostly dominated by office towers.

"I think Macy's jumped the gun on this," continues Tompkins, who says the alliance has been "in active conversation" with the city and Macy's regarding the parade route, but had not heard news of the changed route from either source.

Jason Post, a spokesman for City Hall, tells the news outlet the route will be re-evaluated after the 2013 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade when construction on the Times Square project is slated to finish. The two-year undertaking will begin in the fall of 2012, and includes repaving and curb installation.

This is not the first time the route for the largest parade in the nation has been changed. In 2009, the course was diverted from Broadway to Seventh Avenue after vehicles were banned from parts of Broadway.

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