NEW YORK — The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will move its giant balloons and floats one block east next year to accommodate work on the Times Square pedestrian plaza, infuriating businesses that cater to the tens of thousands spectators at the hugely popular annual extravaganza.
The parade will move from Seventh Avenue to Sixth Avenue for 2012 and 2013 and, after that, the route will be reevaluated, said Jason Post, a spokesman for City Hall.
The Times Square Alliance, which represents the hotels, restaurants, delis, and coffee houses along the parade’s route, said it learned of the route change from a reporter for DNAinfo, a Manhattan news website.
The new route also was reported by the Daily News.
“Even Mr. Potato Head and Homer Simpson know that Times Square is a better place for a parade than dull Sixth Avenue,’’ said Tim Tompkins, president of the alliance, referring to two of the parade’s giant balloon characters.
“I think Macy’s jumped the gun on this,’’ said Tompkins. He said the alliance had been “in active conversation’’ with both the city and Macy’s regarding the parade route but had not heard directly from either about the changed route.
“We knew there were some issues that needed to be dealt with regarding the reconstruction in Times Square,’’ but the problems were not insurmountable, he said.
Macy’s officials said they felt Sixth Avenue was the safest route for the parade.
“It’s a passage that’s both wide and straight, with none of the pinch-points, obstructions, or sharp turns that complicate Seventh Avenue,’’ parade spokesman Orlando Veras said in a statement.
The two-year Times Square project is slated to begin in the fall of 2012. Modifications will include repaving and curb installation.