Pan­das, Chengdu join Macy’s pa­rade

China Daily (USA) - - ACROSS AMERICA - By HONG XIAO in New York xi­ao­hong@chi­nadai­lyusa.com

China’s most beloved and rec­og­nized na­tional trea­sure — the gi­ant panda — will be fea­tured in the 90th Macy’s Thanks­giv­ing Day Pa­rade on Nov 24.

The float called Chengdu, Its Beauty and Splen­dor was un­veiled ex­clu­sively to Chi­nese me­dia at Macy’s Pa­rade Stu­dio in Moonachie, New Jer­sey on Mon­day.

This will be the third con­sec­u­tive year that a Chi­nese-themed float joins the clas­sic pa­rade in New York. Bei­jing and Yun­nan were fea­tured in the past two pa­rades.

As the pro­vin­cial cap­i­tal of Sichuan prov­ince in South­west China, Chengdu is known as the home of the gi­ant panda.

Chengdu Re­search Base of Gi­ant Panda Breed­ing, the worl­drenowned breed­ing and re­search base, is the only en­dan­gered species pro­tec­tion fa­cil­ity in the world that is lo­cated in a met­ro­pol­i­tan area. It at­tracts al­most 100,000 vis­i­tors a year.

“The float is rep­re­sen­ta­tive of China,” said Susan Tercero, group vice-pres­i­dent of spe­cial pro­duc­tions at Macy’s. “On the back of the float, there are a lot of pan­das, since the area is re­ally known for its pan­das.

“My fa­vorite part of the float is the pan­das. I love pan­das,” she added. “Every­body loves pan­das. They are so cute and adorable and they def­i­nitely ex­press the area of China, cer­tainly when you look at that, you know where you are.”

The float also spot­lights other as­pects of Chengdu like the Jin­sha Cul­ture (1250—650 BC), the Du­jiangyan Ir­ri­ga­tion Sys­tem (orig­i­nally con­structed around 256 BC by the State of Qin) and Mount Qingcheng, an im­por­tant cen­ter of Tao­ism.

The Chengdu float is pre­sented jointly by Macy’s and the Sino-Amer­i­can Friend­ship As­so­ci­a­tion, as well as the city gov­ern­ment of Chengdu.

“I think the big part is iden­ti­fy­ing a par­tic­u­lar re­gion that we want to high­light, some­thing maybe a city or an area that peo­ple aren’t fa­mil­iar with but that’s re­ally rich in Chi­nese cul­ture, which is Chengdu,” she said.

Tercero said that a float can take sev­eral months in terms of de­sign and con­struc­tion. The team started work in Jan­uary, and since the de­sign team was not that fa­mil­iar with Chengdu, they put a lot of ef­fort into re­search.

The Macy’s Thanks­giv­ing Day Pa­rade has been held an­nu­ally since 1924 (with the ex­cep­tion of three years dur­ing World War II).

“This is a great plat­form; we had 50 mil­lion view­ers on TV last year, so it’s a great mo­ment for us to be able to bring dif­fer­ent cul­tures and dif­fer­ent ex­pe­ri­ences to the public, so they can ac­tu­ally see some­thing new or some­thing they’re not fa­mil­iar with,” she said.

Tercero said the big­gest chal­lenge ev­ery year is hav­ing to break apart the larger floats into sev­eral pieces to get them through the Lin­coln Tun­nel and then put them back to­gether in time for the pa­rade.

In all, there will be 27 floats in this year’s pa­rade.

HONG XIAO / CHINA DAILY

Susan T er cero,groupv ice-pres­i­dent of spe­cial pro­duc­tion sat Macy’s, stand son the Cheng du, Its Beauty and Splen­dor float dur­ing a me­dia pre­view at Macy’s Pa­rade Stu­dio in Moonachie, New Jer­sey on Mon­day. The float will be join­ing the 90th Macy’s Thanks­giv­ing Day Pa­rade on Nov 24.

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