The pictures tell the story. The parade is popular again. In the 1970s it was ignored. Yes Fifth Ave was closed but the streets were empty. I can't say when the parade again began to have an audience, but the first Gulf War and September 11, both played a part.Nowadays, the crowds are lively,and the marchers diverse.
I used the Sony Rx10 to photograph the parade. It is this camera or others of its special niche that I recommend as the single camera to buy for an amateur who does not want to travel with a carload of lenses and gear. Don't waste your money on a DSLR unless you want to go all in.