Macy's Parade Cheers NYC After Storm

Elf on a Shelf, Papa Smurf join Thanksgiving lineup

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 22, 2012 12:34 PM CST

(Newser) – The annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade kicked off in New York today, putting a festive mood in the air in a city still coping with the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. The young, and the young at heart, were delighted by the sight and sound of marching bands, performers and, of course, the giant balloons. The weather was a sunny 47 degrees Fahrenheit. Some parade-goers had camped out to get a good spot, staying snug in sleeping bags. Others came well-prepared with folding chairs.

This year, the giant balloons were to welcome Elf on a Shelf and Papa Smurf. A new version of Hello Kitty was to be included while Buzz Lightyear, Sailor Mickey Mouse, and the Pillsbury Doughboy remained in the lineup. Real life stars were to include Carly Rae Jepsen and Rachel Crow of "The X Factor." The holiday came as portions of the Northeast still were reeling from Sandy's havoc, and volunteers planned to serve thousands of turkey dinners to people it left homeless or struggling. (Click to see why some think the giant parade balloons have to go.)

The Charlie Brown balloon passes people on balconies on New York's Central Park West during the 86th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade,Thursday, Nov 22, 2012.
The Charlie Brown balloon passes people on balconies on New York's Central Park West during the 86th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade,Thursday, Nov 22, 2012.   (AP Photo/ Louis Lanzano)
Dancers fill the street as the 86th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade moves down New York's Central Park West Thursday, Nov 22, 2012.
Dancers fill the street as the 86th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade moves down New York's Central Park West Thursday, Nov 22, 2012.   (Louis Lanzano)
Workers inflate the Spider-Man balloon for the 86th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, on New York's Upper West Side,  Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012.
Workers inflate the Spider-Man balloon for the 86th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, on New York's Upper West Side, Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012.   (Richard Drew)
Mounted police lead a  policeman balloon as it makes its way down New York's Central Park West in the 86th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade,Thursday, Nov 22, 2012.
Mounted police lead a policeman balloon as it makes its way down New York's Central Park West in the 86th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade,Thursday, Nov 22, 2012.   (Louis Lanzano)
The Hello Kitty Balloon makes it's way down New York's Central Park West in the 86th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade,Thursday, Nov 22, 2012.
The Hello Kitty Balloon makes it's way down New York's Central Park West in the 86th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade,Thursday, Nov 22, 2012.   (Louis Lanzano)
The Kung Fu Panda balloon, right, participates in the 86th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade,Thursday, Nov 22, 2012, in New York.
The Kung Fu Panda balloon, right, participates in the 86th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade,Thursday, Nov 22, 2012, in New York.   (Louis Lanzano)
The Santa Claus float rounds Columbus Circle during the 86th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Thursday Nov. 22, 2012, in New York.
The Santa Claus float rounds Columbus Circle during the 86th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Thursday Nov. 22, 2012, in New York.   (AP Photo/Tina Fineberg)
Costumed parade participants march in the 86th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Thursday Nov. 22, 2012, in New York.
Costumed parade participants march in the 86th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Thursday Nov. 22, 2012, in New York.   (AP Photo/Tina Fineberg)
Santa and Mrs. Claus wave to the crowd at Herald Square during the 86th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade,Thursday, Nov 22, 2012, in New York
Santa and Mrs. Claus wave to the crowd at Herald Square during the 86th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade,Thursday, Nov 22, 2012, in New York   (AP Photo/ Louis Lanzano)
The Julius balloon moves through Columbus Circle as it participates in the 86th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Thursday Nov. 22, 2012, in New York.
The Julius balloon moves through Columbus Circle as it participates in the 86th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Thursday Nov. 22, 2012, in New York.   (AP Photo/Tina Fineberg)
Spectators  cheers during the 86th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Thursday Nov. 22, 2012, in New York.
Spectators cheers during the 86th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Thursday Nov. 22, 2012, in New York.   (AP Photo/Tina Fineberg)
The Spiderman balloon participates in the 86th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Thursday Nov. 22, 2012, in New York.
The Spiderman balloon participates in the 86th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Thursday Nov. 22, 2012, in New York.   (AP Photo/Tina Fineberg)
The Kermit the Frog balloon participates in the 86th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Thursday Nov. 22, 2012, in New York.
The Kermit the Frog balloon participates in the 86th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Thursday Nov. 22, 2012, in New York.   (AP Photo/Tina Fineberg)
A zebra costumed marcher  is followed by the Curious George balloon on its way down New York's Central Park West in the 86th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade,Thursday, Nov 22, 2012.
A zebra costumed marcher is followed by the Curious George balloon on its way down New York's Central Park West in the 86th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade,Thursday, Nov 22, 2012.   (AP Photo/ Louis Lanzano)
Costumed characters and a marching band precede the Kermit The Frog balloon on New York's Central Park West during the 86th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade,Thursday, Nov 22, 2012.
Costumed characters and a marching band precede the Kermit The Frog balloon on New York's Central Park West during the 86th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade,Thursday, Nov 22, 2012.   (AP Photo/ Louis Lanzano)
The Kung Fu Panda balloon passes an apartment building on New York's Central Park West at the start of the 86th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade,Thursday, Nov 22, 2012.
The Kung Fu Panda balloon passes an apartment building on New York's Central Park West at the start of the 86th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade,Thursday, Nov 22, 2012.   (AP Photo/ Louis Lanzano)
The new Papa Smurf balloon is restrained under netting after it was inflated for the 86th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, on New York's Upper West Side,  Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012.
The new Papa Smurf balloon is restrained under netting after it was inflated for the 86th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, on New York's Upper West Side, Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012.   (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
The new Elf on the Shelf balloon is inflated for the 86th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, on New York's Upper West Side,  Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012.
The new Elf on the Shelf balloon is inflated for the 86th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, on New York's Upper West Side, Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012.   (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
In this Nov. 10, 2012 file photo provided by Macy’s, the Elf on the Shelf balloon floats over the Meadowland’s race track during a test flight in East Rutherford, NJ.
In this Nov. 10, 2012 file photo provided by Macy’s, the Elf on the Shelf balloon floats over the Meadowland’s race track during a test flight in East Rutherford, NJ.   (AP Photo/Macy’s, Inc.)
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