Target Aims To Steal Macy's Thanksgiving Thunder

When it comes to Manhattan and Thanksgiving Day, the Macy's parade has long been the only game in town--not to mention national TV.

But maybe not this year.

Target, the Minneapolis-based retailer (that still doesn't have a store in Manhattan), said Friday that on Thanksgiving Day, David Blaine, the famed magician and endurance artist, will "attempt to escape from shackles while dangling four stories above Times Square," just in time for the Target 2-Day Sale. (Details of the latest Houdini-like stunt are scheduled to be announced on a lot on 46th Street, just off Times Square at the end of the week.)

"Only a stunt on the world's biggest stage is spectacular enough to kick off the Target 2-Day Sale," the company said in its announcement.

The event will benefit the Salvation Army, and if Blaine is successful, he will then take 100 children, selected by the charitable organization, on a Thanksgiving Day shopping spree.

Whatever the details, the Brooklyn-bred Blaine's stunt is sure to generate plenty of attention: Last spring, he was pulled unconscious from his "human aquarium" in Lincoln Center, after failing to break the world's record for holding breath underwater, and he has said he would like to try to break that record again. In the past, Blaine has also been buried alive in a see-through coffin for a week, balanced on a small platform on an 80-foot pole for 35 hours, and survived inside a massive ice block for 61 hours--all in New York. In 2003, in London, he fasted for 44 days in an acrylic box dangling over the Thames River.



Meanwhile, no word yet on how Macy's will react to Target muscling into Manhattan on its special day, or if Blaine will have to compete with the Dora the Explorer balloon for airspace. Since 1924, when the parade first began, it has been recognized as the official kick-off of the holiday season, including the arrival of Santa Claus.

Macy's is aware of Target's plan, but had no official comment on it. Macy's 2.5-mile parade route passes through Times Square on its way to the flagship store on 34th Street.

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