As the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade ushered in the holiday season on Thursday with the help of vivid, high-flying balloons, a large crowd of spectators lined the streets of New York. As a wave of gigantic inflatables and floats travelled more than 40 blocks from Central Park to Herald Square, the nearly century-old annual tradition filled the streets. Numerous people participated, and the parade was a glittering start to the winter season.
Papa Smurf, Ronald McDonald, SpongeBob, and Snoopy in an astronaut suit all made another appearance. This year’s procession featured 16 gigantic balloons, 28 floats, 40 novelty and heritage inflatables, 12 marching bands, 10 performing groups, 700 clowns, and one Santa Claus.
The opening number for this year’s parade is performed by Lea Michele and the Funny Girl cast from Broadway. There are also casts from several other Broadway shows, including The Lion King, which is celebrating its 25th year on Broadway. The festivities are traditionally concluded by the Radio City Rockettes. Jordin Sparks, Joss Stone, Blanco Brown, Fitz and the Tantrums, Big Time Rush, Dionne Warwick, Gloria Estefan, Paula Abdul, Ziggy Marley, Ballet Hispánico, and numerous other artists performed during the parade. However, Mariah Carey’s rendition of the holiday classic “All I Want for Christmas Is You” served as the show’s highlight.