Numerous onlookers lined the streets of New York on Thursday as the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade brought in the holiday season with the help of vibrant, high-flying balloons. The nearly century-old yearly custom filled the streets as a flood of enormous inflatables and floats travelled more than 40 blocks from Central Park to Herald Square. Many performed and the parade was a sparkling opening to the winter season.
In generally clear skies with a mild breeze, kids perched on metal barricades and hung from scaffolding to observe the balloons. Once more making an appearance were Papa Smurf, Ronald McDonald, SpongeBob, and Snoopy, costumed as an astronaut. 16 enormous balloons, 28 floats, 40 novelty and heritage inflatables, 12 marching bands, 10 performance groups, 700 clowns, and one Santa Claus made up this year’s parade.
The Funny Girl group from Broadway and Lea Michele perform the opening number for this year’s parade. A number of other Broadway productions, notably The Lion King, which is commemorating its 25th year on Broadway, have casts present as well. The Radio City Rockettes customarily wrap up the celebrations. The parade featured performances by Jordin Sparks, Joss Stone, Blanco Brown, Fitz and the Tantrums, Big Time Rush, Dionne Warwick, Gloria Estefan, Paula Abdul, Ziggy Marley, Ballet Hispánico, and many others. But Mariah Carey highlighted the show with her hit Christmas number “All I Want For Christmas Is You.”