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Americans Celebrate Thanksgiving Day With Food, Family, Gifts And Parades

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Americans are set to celebrate this year's Thanksgiving Day as a day of food, family, gifts and parades, and an opportunity for the annual shopping extravaganza.

Consumers plan to spend an average of $554.90 during the holiday weekend, with $207.30 going towards gifts, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC).

U.S. holiday sales are expected to rise between 4.3 percent and 4.9 percent compared to last November and December, according to the National Retail Federation.

More than a dozen national retailers will open their doors early for Black Friday, kicking off sales on Thanksgiving Day.

Walmart, Target, Macy's and Best Buy are expected to be among the most popular stores on Black Friday this year.

Walmart plans to kick off its Black Friday event on Thanksgiving day at 4 p.m., when it will throw its first-ever "Light Up Black Friday" party for customers.

For the third year in a row, Macy's is opening on Thanksgiving Day.

The department store will open at 5 p.m. with most of its stores remaining open until at least 2 a.m. through Black Friday morning.

Millions of people are expected to travel this Thanksgiving season. 3 million travelers are estimated to transit through the world's busiest airport in Atlanta over a week span.

Thanksgiving, celebrated on the last Thursday in November, is a federal holiday nationwide.

With online sales booming, nearly 100 national and regional retailers will remain closed for the holiday, according to BestBlackFriday.com.

They include Costco, Home Depot, Lowe's, Mall of America, AT&T, Burlington, Nordstrom and TJ Maxx.

Banks, including The Federal Reserve, will be closed on Thanksgiving.

The United States Postal Service will not deliver mail on Thursday.

U.S. financial markets will be closed Thursday. On Friday, the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq will close for trading early at 1 p.m. U.S. bond markets will also be on a half-day schedule.

At the national Thanksgiving turkey pardoning ceremony held at the White House, President Donald Trump wished all Americans "a very, very happy Thanksgiving".

In line with the great American tradition, he granted a lucky turkey named Peas a presidential pardon.

Later in the day, the country is poised to witness several dance and music parades, making Thanksgiving day evenings colorful and vibrant.

The annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City, the world's largest parade, will be th highlight.

In addition to musical numbers, the parade will feature giant character balloons, floats, hundreds of cheerleaders, dancers and clowns, and 12 marching bands.

It is estimated that more than 3.5 million people will witness the world-famous Parade on the streets of Manhattan, and more than 50 million others will view it on television through NBC.

Meanwhile, reports say that frigid temperatures and high wind gusts could impact the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

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