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84th Macy's Thanksgivng Day Parade to include familiar and local faces

By CAROLINE GABLE and ALYSSA SACCO

NEW HARTFORD, N.Y. (WKTV) - A select few Macy's employees from the New Hartford Sangertown Square mall store won't take part in working the floor this Thanksgiving - instead, they'll be part of a much larger operation.

For many, the turkey-gobbling holiday is not complete without the tradition of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Fifteen lucky local employees will take part in the magic starting early Thursday morning.

Employees have volunteered to hold down iconic balloons, and wave to the crowds.

In previous years, Snoopy sailed high in the cold winds of New York City alongside New Hartford employees, but this year a new character based on the books series "Diary of a Wimpy Kid," will be their responsibility.

The journey for the 15 excited employees will begin at 1 a.m. when they board a bus headed to New York. They will reach their final destination at 5 a.m.

Once in the Big Apple, they'll be provided with a uniform, hats and gloves, because rain or shine, the parade will still march on.

Macy's employee Heather Devitt has walked in the parade before and she says it is an emotional experience, to say the least.

"The most amazing part is when you get there, and you see the crowds," she said. "You see everyone as you're walking, they are pressed up against the window, hanging on the wall, yelling at your balloon like it's a real person. It's just the whole energy and excitement of the city. It's just so exciting and so much fun and so fantastic."

Unfortunately for store employees taking part in the festivities, they have another big event 24 hours later - Black Friday. The busiest shopping day of the year will keep them on their feet, but employees say they get to come in a little later than usual.

With 53 million people projected to watch this year's parade, they have a full plate of action to kick start the holiday season.

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