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Beijing Makes History at 88th Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

History was made on Thanksgiving, November 27, 2014 in the United States for the first time as the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade reached across the globe, to present the ancient and contemporary culture of China's capital. One of the world's fastest rising cosmopolitan cites and tourism destination - Beijing - was united on one float at the 88th Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City before 3.5 million people during the parade and over 50 million on television.

The 'Beauty of Beijing' float marched down New York's renowned Central Park and 6th Avenue bathed with bursts of the famed Chinese color - red and gold and complete with several replicas of Beijing's UNESCO heritage sites including the Great Wall, the Temple of Heaven and lanterns of this city of over 11 million. It was a unique embodiment of the mixture of both the Chinese culture and Beijing's tourism landmarks and created a lot of attention.


The 'Beauty of Beijing' float, by the Sino-American Friendship Association (SAFA), and supported by the Beijing Tourism Association in conjunction with Macy's, delighted parade goers along the route for its blend of Eastern and Western cultures. The 88th Macy's Thanksgiving Parade was presented under the theme "Let's Have a Parade" and consisted of 27 floats.


The float was led by 140 members of the marching band from the Tottenville HS of Staten Island, NY dressed in Chinese costume to the thrill of many New Yorkers. But their amazement soon turned to applause as 30 American youth dancers waving flags urged them to get into the rhythm. Unique Chinese lion dance performances complimented the dancers through displays that thrilled many children.


Chinese costumed nationals representing Beijing, joined millions, including those watching via television and around the world, in cheering the float on. As a part of Chinese tradition, the lions' eye-dotting ceremony took place before the parade kick-off, symbolizing good fortune and good luck with a new beginning.


"Culture is essential for the long-term vitality of a nation and gives people a sense of belonging," said Zhang, Meifang, Deputy Consul General of Consulate General of the People's Republic of China in New York. "During President Obama's visit to China this November, he and Chinese president Xi Jinping reached consensus on several things including Sino-US cultural exchange. This year, joining hands with Beijing, the SAFA and Macy's co-produced 'Beauty of Beijing' float, shared Chinese culture with American traditions and enriched American multiculturalism which will promote Sino-US friendship and bring people much closer."


"It's so great to see Beijing tourism elements appear at the 88th Macy's Parade. We are delighted to celebrate the Thanksgiving Day with Americans and invite them to visit Beijing and experience the Beijing culture and hospitality of our people," said Fang, Zehua, Executive Director of the Beijing Association of Tourism Industry.


"Tottenville's participation is a celebration of our special friendship and understanding with the people of China," added David LaMorte, assistant principal of Tottenville HS. "It's a thrill of a lifetime for everyone to perform on the Spirit of Love and Friendship float to share the beauty of Beijing."