A storm weary city got into the holiday spirit Thursday as the 86th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade makes its way downtown.
New additions to the stable of big balloons this year included Papa Smurf and Elf on a Shelf, and a new version of Hello Kitty which led the pack.
The balloons flew high above hundreds of dancers, cheerleaders, clowns and singers, along with about two dozen floats and 11 marching bands.
Five thousand residents affected by Hurricane Sandy got prime seats in the bleachers.
Parade-goers who spoke with NY1 say the celebration is exactly what the city needed.
"New York City has suffered enough. Hurricane Sandy, the lower part of Manhattan ,this is a great thing for the city, we really enjoy it," said one parade goer.
"I think that I should be thankful for everything that I have because some people got hurt in hurricane sandy and lost most of their stuff," said another parade goer.
The parade route began at 77th Street and Central Park West, headed south to Columbus Circle and cut over to Sixth Avenue before wrapping up at Macy's in Herald Square with Santa and his reindeer bringing the festivities to a close.