Photo: Denise Civiletti

Riley Avenue Elementary School held its first-ever Thanksgiving parade today.

Children in Tammy Hardison’s and Deb Mitchell’s speech classes put on the parade, which marched through the elementary school’s hallways.

The classes read the book “Balloons Over Broadway” by Melissa Sweet, which is all about the history of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The favorite holiday parade in New York City dates back to 1924.

The giant helium-filled balloons that thrill audiences today originally were non-helium balloons mounted on sticks. The children made colorful balloons of their own for today’s parade — and, like the balloons when the parade first started, they were mounted on sticks and held high overhead by the parade participants.

The kids created favorite movie characters such as Minions, Spiderman, Superman, Super Mario and Dalmatians.

The rest of the children lined the hallways to watch the parade pass by.

“This is a great event — our very first Thanksgiving parade,” principal David Enos said.

Students also put on a Thanksgiving play, telling the story of the pilgrims’ arrival in North American and gathering for a feast with the indigenous people, who welcomed the hungry pilgrims with gifts of food.

Following the play, the kids enjoyed a Thanksgiving turkey lunch.

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Denise is a veteran local reporter, editor, attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including investigative reporting and writer of the year awards from the N.Y. Press Association. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.Email Denise.