By Mike Puccinelli

CHICAGO (CBS) — The 84th annual Chicago Thanksgiving parade may be taking part under the tightest security ever.

A lot of those security measures were unseen.

As CBS 2’s Mike Puccinelli reports, others are entirely obvious.

It may change the look of the parade but not the enthusiasm of the spectators.

A parade that took place between a wall of salt trucks stretching all the way from Congress to the south to Randolph to the north.

“The salt trucks park themselves on the east west streets intersecting the parade route as an added barrier keeping the route secure,” says Phillip Purevich, Executive Director of the Thanksgiving Parade.

He says it’s a sign of the times after vehicular attacks around the world and most recently in New York City.

In addition to the trucks, police were on foot, on bicycles and in cars all along the mile long parade route.

But for the tens of thousands of people lining State Street it wasn’t security but celebration that was top of mind.

Ben Richardson and his family arrived well before dawn at five a.m.  The Pontiac father says his family was the first to arrive this morning.

“It’s our first time doing this so I wanted my family to get here and get a good seat,” said Richardson. When asked if it was worth it to arrive so early, Ricahrdson’s kids said yes.

And they were joined before dawn by the man whose job it was to lead the parade.

Ronald McDonald lead some five thousand participants in the parade. Among them Fred Flintstone who appeared larger than life as he floated through the concrete canyon.

And the U-46 All District Marching Band who with 566 members marched into parade history.

Many folks said despite the chill in the air, they thought it was a pretty fantastic day for a Thanksgiving parade.

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