New York City is still recovering from Superstorm Sandy's ferocity but that hasn't stopped Big Apple residents from celebrating the 86th Macy's Thanksgiving Day in Central Park.
"As it has during turbulent times in our history, we hope the Macy's Parade serves as a beacon of hope for all who tune in and gather with friends and family to give thanks this season, as they continue to heal from the devastating aftermath of Superstorm Sandy," Amy Kule, the parade's executive producer, said.
According to a report in Reuters, the world-famous department store has confirmed transportation and seating for 5,000 people affected Sandy. The storm flooded parts of Manhattan last month and caused widespread infrastructural damage to both New York City and the outer boroughs.
Some of the giant helium balloons, which best characterise the festive spirit of the Macy's parade, will be of beloved television and film creations, like Hello Kitty, Kermit the Frog, Spongebob Squarepants, Spider-Man, Kung Fu Panda, the Pillsbury Doughboy, Pikachu, Buzz Lightyear, Sailor Mickey Mouse and Sonic the Hedgehog. Unfortunately, Snoopy was not included this year, after being featured in every one of the last 85 parades.
"A great thing about the parade balloons is that they are the most recognisable characters in the world. Betty Boop or Felix the Cat -- we might not all have been around when they were really popular, but we understand the pop culture significance of them," parade spokesman Orlando Veras said.
In addition to the number of floats, a number of celebrities will also be present. These include actress Whoopi Goldberg and singers Chris Isaak and Carly Rae Jepsen. The event will also feature musical performances from some of Broadway's best known musicals, including Annie and the Rodgers and Hammerstein classics.
Check out photographs of some of the balloons from the 86th Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade and from earlier events as well