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Cartoon Characters Protest Macy's Parade Change

By DNAinfo Staff on March 9, 2011 3:52pm  | Updated on March 9, 2011 7:49pm

By Elizabeth Ladzinski

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

MIDTOWN — What do Spider-Man, Dora the Explorer and Mr. Potato Head have in common?

They don't want the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade route to be moved to Sixth Avenue in 2012.

The characters — as well as Snoopy, SpongeBob and a turkey — gathered in Times Square Wednesday to protest the plan to reroute the parade again, which was first reported by DNAinfo on Monday. The new route will take the parade down Sixth Avenue to West 34th Street below Central Park, moving it away from Times Square.

"We're here because even a cartoon character knows that the parade should be in Times Square," said Tim Tompkins, president of the Times Square Alliance, which organized the protest.

"Even a potato head knows this is a really stupid idea," Tompkins added.

A sign from Mr. Potato Head read, "My Broadway dreams are mashed," while Dora's read, "I've explored 6th Avenue and it's a bore."

Mayor Michael Bloomberg defended the move Wednesday, arguing that Macy's is the company writing the check.

"Sixth Avenue is far and away Macy's preference and Macy's is paying for the parade. So listening to them is something that we certainly want to do," he told reporters at a press conference at City Hall.

And while some people will be losing their views of the parade, he noted others will be gaining, too.

"I can find you a whole bunch of people who'll be happy," he said.

The Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade originally came down from the Upper West Side along Central Park West and then continued down Broadway to Herald Square. The city changed the route from Broadway to Seventh Avenue in 2009 because of the new pedestrian plaza in Times Square.

A Macy's spokesman, Orlando Veras, said in a statement, "Macy's officials feel that 6th Avenue is quite simply, the safest route for the world-famous Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade."

However, businesses believe the move will damage holiday tourism in the city.

"It's a disaster for the city," said Melinda Marinoff, who works for NYC Group Tours. She said that thousands of children come to the city through the tour group, and the number one request from them is to see Times Square.

"Times Square is the capital of New York," Marinoff added. "To move the parade over, you might as well go to Chicago."

John Galanopoulos, of Astoria, has run a hot dog stand in Times Square for 30 years, and he doesn't want to see the parade route change.

"If it was up to me I'd leave it the way it's been for years," Galanopoulos said.

The parade will stay on its current route on Seventh Avenue for the 2011 season.

According to Jason Post, a spokesman for the Mayor, the route will be reevaluated after 2013.

Jill Colvin contributed reporting.