People watch the 86th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade,Thursday, Nov 22, 2012, in New York. (AP Photo/ Louis Lanzano)
Updated: Thursday, 22 Nov 2012, 5:54 PM EST
Published : Thursday, 22 Nov 2012, 3:48 PM EST
NEW YORK (AP) - Victims of Superstorm Sandy in New York and elsewhere in the Northeast have been drawing comfort today from kinder weather, free holiday meals and -- for some -- front row seats to the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.
One woman from a hard-hit neighborhood in Queens says the special viewing section for those displaced by the storm meant a lot. Karen Panetta says she and her family were thankful to be there together and "to feel like life's a little normal today."
More than 3 million people attended the popular Macy's parade, while an estimated 50 million watched on TV. Highlights included giant balloons in the likeness of Papa Smurf, Buzz Lightyear, Elf on a Shelf and Charlie Brown. Real-life stars included singer Carly Rae Jepsen.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg praised police, firefighters, armed services personnel, sanitation workers and volunteers involved in the storm response. His office was coordinating the distribution of more than 26,000 meals at 30 sites in neighborhoods affected by Sandy.
This may be hard to believe in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, but an annual …