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thanksgiving 2014

Icy roads will be a hazard in the Northeast as millions of Americans return home from Thanksgiving this weekend.

An onslaught of storms, bringing snow and rain, will disrupt travel in the West.

While drier and milder weather will arrive across the Northeast this weekend, refreezing of melted snow remains a concern.

A winter storm on November 26 knocked out power to more than 300,000 customers in the Northeast at the height of the storm. Thousands remained in the dark on Thanksgiving Day.

As milder weather reaches the snow-packed Northeast, the snow will melt during the day.

The icy roads will be the most prevalent travel threat this weekend, especially across the interior.

Those traveling at night or around dawn this weekend should be prepared for slick spots.

The snowmelt could bring standing water across low-lying and poor drainage areas, but any flooding should be isolated.

A few brief rain showers and even a few flurries will be found over the interior this weekend, but there will be no widespread weather-related threats to ground or air travel.

Snow will slow travel across Montana and the northern Rockies, while periods of rain will soak northern California this weekend.

A cold storm will usher in periods of snow for the northern Rockies and much of Montana on November 29.

Travelers on Interstates 90 and 15 should anticipate snow-covered roadways on Saturday as several inches of snow piles up in the region. Some passes through the Rockies may become closed for a time.

Drier weather will settle into the region on Sunday, but frigid weather will keep snow and ice on many roads. The cold weather may even bring some wintry weather across the Pacific Northwest.

Farther south, periods of rain will visit northern California this weekend, including San Francisco. The rain will make roads slick as it combines with oil buildup, including I-5 from Redding to Sacramento, California, as well.

The rain will not be heavy though, so incidents of flooding and disruptions to air travel should be limited.

An expansive area of dry and rather mild weather will encompass nearly the entirety of the southern US. Sunshine will prevail for the most part as highs soared into the 70s and 80s.

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East coast snowy weather has disrupted one of the busiest travel days ahead of the country’s Thanksgiving holiday.

More than 600 flights were cancelled and thousands delayed by a winter storm which brought snow, sleet and rain.

As much as 12in of snow was due in the heavily populated north-east, forcing people to change travel plans.

More than 46 million Americans are expected to be on the move on November 26, mostly by car.

That would make it the busiest Thanksgiving travel since 2007, according to the American Automobile Association (AAA), with most people travelling by cars.

Snow has already begun falling in the East but New York City could see as much as four inches of snow, while between six and 12 inches is expected to fall further north.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo activated the state’s Emergency Operations Center and had 1,800 snowplough operators standing by to clear roads between New York City and Albany.

Airlines were suggesting travelers switch to earlier flights, with some dropping change fees.

Snow is also expected in Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington DC.

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For the 2014, Macy’s Parade Balloon Inflation will be on Wednesday, November 26 from 3PM to 10PM around the American Museum of Natural History.

Visitors are herded into a procession that starts at 79th Street and Columbus Avenue, and circles the museum.
There are police barricades and cops in an effort to control the inevitable crowds, and the line increases as the night wears on.
Around 5PM the majority of the balloons will start taking shape and by 9M all of them should be inflated.
The 2014 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is the official kick-off of the holiday season and begins on Thursday, November 27, at 9AM.
Every year, the Parade is seen by more than 3.5 million people who line the streets of New York and another 50 million people who tune into NBC to watch the giant balloons.

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You can get an up-close view of the 88th Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in NYC thanks to the following hotels.

If you want to be among the crowds braving the cold (with a hot beverage, of course) but don’t want to wake up early or navigate holiday-morning transportation, stay at one of these nearby hotels and let the parade come to you. If you’d rather enjoy a bird’s-eye view of the whole action, ask for a room facing the parade – preferably not too high up, unless you pack binoculars.

These hotels are directly along the parade route, each offering different room categories and parade-viewing options. Click the links below to explore which Thanksgiving package is best for you.

The Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park
Mandarin Oriental, New York
Trump International Hotel and Tower
Courtyard by Marriott New York Manhattan/Herald Square
JW Marriott Essex House New York
New York Hilton Midtown
Residence Inn Times Square

Manhattan is prepared for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, the annual pageant of giant balloons, floats, cheerleaders, clowns, marching bands, and celebrities.

On November 27, 2014, the 88th annual parade will start at Central Park West and West 77th Street, head down Central Park West and travel east along Central Park South to Sixth Avenue. From there the procession will move south from West 59th Street to West 34th Street, ending in front of the Macy’s flagship store in Herald Square.

There are three recommended stretches or spots on the route for watching the parade: the first leg along Central Park West, Time Warner Center and, finally, along Sixth Avenue between Central Park South and 38th Street. The section from 38th Street to Herald Square and Macy’s department store is the telecast area and closed to the public. While there is limited space for viewing along the south side of 34th Street between Broadway and Seventh Avenue, the sight lines are seriously compromised by cameras, lights and scaffolding.

Sixth Avenue: The floats and balloons reach Sixth Avenue at about 9:30AM, so arrive at this 21-block portion as late as 7AM and you should still find a good spot.

Time Warner Center: The Shops at Columbus Circle open at 9AM on Thanksgiving Day. From the second and third floors of the mall, you’ll enjoy an elevated view of the parade streaming down Central Park West. As an added bonus you’ll also get to see the Holiday Under the Stars light display.

Central Park West: Viewing starts at 75th Street (two blocks down from the official start of the parade) and is only open to the public on the west side. Central Park is closed for invite-only grandstand seating. The parade runs along this stretch from 9–10:30AM, so early birds who don’t mind turning up at 6AM to snag a prime spot should flock here.
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More than 46 million US residents will travel at least 50 miles away from home over the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday weekend, the American Automobile Association (AAA) is predicting.

The figure is a 4.3% increase over 2013 travel in the Thanksgiving period, which is defined as the Wednesday through Sunday surrounding the holiday.

According to AAA, the anticipated travel for 2014 would be the highest number of Thanksgiving travelers since 2007 if the prediction is accurate.

“This year, more Americans will give thanks for the opportunity to travel to friends and family than any year since 2007,” AAA Chief Operating Officer Marshall Doney said in a statement.

“Americans are more optimistic about the future as improvements in several key economic factors, including employment, GDP and disposable income, are boosting consumer confidence and the desire to travel,” he continued. 

Marshall Doney attributed part of the predicted increase in Thanksgiving travel to lower gas prices, the auto club has said are under $3-per-gallon on average across the country for the first time in several years.

“Holiday joy has come early this year with Americans likely to pay the lowest Thanksgiving gas prices since 2009,” he said.

“Lower prices are increasing disposable income and enabling families to carve out more money from household budgets for travel this Thanksgiving.”

AAA predicted that 41.3 million of the anticipated Thanksgiving travelers will be driving to their holiday destinations, up 4.3 percent from last year.  The association said the average gas price that will paid by Thanksgiving drivers this year will be $2.85-per-gallon.

The auto club estimates that another 3.55 million travelers will take trips by airplane for their Thanksgiving respite.

Airfares are predicted to be 1% higher than last year, and hotel prices are estimated to have risen about 8%.

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Retailers have announced their hours for this year’s Thanksgiving weekend.

Black Friday marks the traditional kick-off to the holiday shopping season, and the shift toward opening earlier and earlier on Thanksgiving is continuing.

Macy’s will open most of its department stores on Thanksgiving night at 6 p.m., two hours earlier than last year’s 8 p.m. Thanksgiving opening.

The stores at Arundel Mills also will open at 6 p.m. on Thursday, November 27, but will close at 1 a.m. before reopening on the actual Black Friday at 6 a.m., the Hanover mall said today. Retailers among more than 200 at the mall include Best Buy, Coach Factory Store, The Disney Store Outlet, H&M, Michael Kors Outlet, New York & Company Outlet, Nike Factory store and SaksFifth Avenue OFF 5th, among others. Last year, the mall opened at 8 p.m. but stayed open all night.

At The Mall in Columbia, White Marsh Mall and Towson Town Center, some stores are choosing to open from 6 p.m. to midnight on Thanksgiving, while others will be open from midnight to 6 a.m. on Black Friday. But the shopping centers won’t open mall-wide until 6 a.m. on Black Friday. Department stores at the malls will set their own hours.

Macy's will open most of its department stores on Thanksgiving night at 6PM, two hours earlier than last year

Macy’s will open most of its department stores on Thanksgiving night at 6PM, two hours earlier than last year (photo Getty Images)

Macy’s issued a statement today saying it’s opening earlier in response to the customer-driven trend toward early shopping for Black Friday.

“Macy’s aims to accommodate customers who count on us to be there when they are ready to shop,” the retailer’s statement said.

“In response to the significant, sustained customer interest in last year’s opening on Thanksgiving, both at Macy’s and at many other retailers, we will be opening our full-line department stores at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day.”

Macy’s added that its employees volunteer to work that day. Some workers prefer to work Thanksgiving and have time off on Black Friday. Those who work an opening Thanksgiving shift will be given incentive pay.

“Our people are able to make their own decisions about how they contribute to our most important and busiest weekend of the year,” the retailer’s statement said.

“In just a few days, the large majority of the shifts have already been filled voluntarily.”

More shoppers will wait until Thanksgiving weekend to start their holiday shopping this year compared to last year, according to a survey released today by The NPD Group.

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