NEW YORK — Americans paused Thursday to celebrate their blessings despite terrorism fears and racial tensions over fatal police shootings across the country.

Spectators at the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York noted a stepped-up police presence, with officers perched on buildings like Radio City Music Hall and watching from helicopters hovering overhead.

“It’s a little scary, but at least it’s keeping us safe,” Kim Miller, of Boston, said of the heavy security. “We’re having fun.”

City officials have said there are no known, credible threats against New York following the deadly attacks in Paris and a video purportedly produced by the Islamic State group that contained footage of Times Square. But Police Commissioner William Bratton said more than 2,500 officers were assigned to stations along the parade route, the largest number ever for the Thanksgiving festivities.

The parade, in its 89th year, included marching bands and floats along with Hello Kitty, Snoopy, SpongeBob SquarePants and other giant balloons.

Pamela and Tom Popp of Ridgefield, New Jersey, said they’ve come to the parade every year for at least 20 years.

“It’s just a very special part of our holiday,” Pamela Popp said. “We’re very proud of New York City and this wonderful tradition.”

Her husband noted the tight security. “I see the cops on top of Radio City,” Tom Popp said. “Never saw that before.”

In St. Louis, a modest-sized crowd gathered on an unseasonably warm morning for the annual Thanksgiving Day parade that was canceled last year amid protests and widespread arrests over the death of Michael Brown, an unarmed black 18-year-old, and other police shootings.

The 2014 parade was supposed to be held several days after a St. Louis County grand jury decided to not indict former Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson, who is white, in Brown’s death.