Crowds Cheer at Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade - NBC New York
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Crowds Cheer at Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

This year, the parade featured six new giant balloons, including Thomas the Tank Engine, Paddington bear and the Red Mighty Morphin Power Ranger

Crowds Cheer at Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

The skies cleared for the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, drawing throngs of spectators to the streets of New York City. Tracie Strahan reports (Published Thursday, Nov. 27, 2014)

The skies cleared for the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, drawing throngs of spectators to the streets of New York City.

It was around 37 degrees with a hint of drizzle and light winds as clowns shot a burst of confetti from canisters to get the show rolling.

"Everybody's great, everybody's having a good time. We're cold but everyone's still smiling so it's always worth it," said spectator Yolanda Rodriquez. 

The honor of leading the parade went to the Pride of the Mountains Marching Band from Western Carolina University.

The musicians were hoping to set two records: one for the most cymbal players (55) and one for the largest band (505 members).

This year, the parade featured six new giant balloons, including Thomas the Tank Engine, Paddington bear and the Red Mighty Morphin Power Ranger. StormTeam4 meteorologist Raphael Miranda was one of the handlers for a new balloon, the Erupter.

According to Macy's, Snoopy is as tall as a three-story building, as long as 11 bicycles and as wide as five taxi cabs. The big balloons are made up of multiple chambers that are inflated individually.

A wintry storm swept through the northeast Wednesday, mucking up travel for millions. But the blustery weather didn't affect the inflation of the balloons for the parade and it didn't keep the crowds from flocking to the Upper West Side to watch the balloons get inflated. 

It was an only-in-New-York experience for those looking to see beloved characters, such as Snoopy and Hello Kitty, before they were marched before millions on the streets, and millions more on television. 

"It's really cool, they're huge," said San Francisco resident Ella Missan. Daisy Elliot of Boston, who said she's been coming to see the balloons since she was little, agreed. "It's really exciting for me to see the balloons year after year," she said.

The parade's executive producer, Amy Kule, said organizers were glad wintry weather that made sidewalks slick and travel treacherous on Wednesday was gone by Thursday.
"There's no thought that this parade would never march down the streets of New York,"  Kule said. 

Matt Lauer, Al Roker and Savannah Guthrie of "Today" hosted as more than 8,000 participants made their through the streets of New York City.

Celebrities participating included Lucy Hale, Nick Jonas, Idina Menzel and Meghan Trainor. The parade featured high-stepping numbers from this season’s Tony Award-winning best musical "A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder," Sting’s "The Last Ship," "On the Town" and "Side Show," as well as a sneak peek at NBC’s "Peter Pan Live!" 

The spectacle was broadcast live on NBC. 

-- Tracie Strahan and Gus Rosendale and AP contributed to this report. 

  

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