Santa Claus makes his way through Herald Square in the 86th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade,Thursday, Nov 22, 2012, in New York. The annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade kicked off in New York on Thursday, putting a festive mood in the air in a city still coping with the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. (AP Photo/ Louis Lanzano)
NEW YORK (AP) — One of the performers at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade knows all too well the lasting impact of Superstorm Sandy.
The parents of 15-year-old Carson Stewart, from Darien, Conn., opened their suddenly powerless home to two struggling families after Sandy hit. More than 20 displaced people camped out for days in the Stewart home.
"It brought our family and our friends a lot closer, in a literal and metaphorical sense," Carson said. "We were all bonding and sitting around the fire."
One family was from the nearby hard-hit island community of Harbor View in Norwalk — "Pianos were floating through the street. It was crazy," he said — and the other was their neighbors, whose home needed 2,800 gallons of water pumped out.
At the parade on Thursday, Carson performed along with 135 other students from Stagedoor Manor, a prominent Catskills-area theater camp. They sang "Santa By the Book" from the new musical "Yes, Virginia The Musical," which had its world premiere at the summer camp earlier this year.
The group, like all performers at the parade, wore pins over their hearts to show their solidarity with the victims of Sandy. Carson said he hoped the festivities can help the recovery: "It's a time for rejoicing, a time to be happy and it alleviates your worries, at least for a few hours."