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Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade delights New York post-Sandy
Thursday, November 22nd, 2012

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade kicked off in New York on Thursday morning, bringing the traditional extravagance and holiday cheer to a city still recovering from Hurricane Sandy.

Macy's sponsored 5,000 tickets and provided transportation to the parade for Sandy victims to watch the 86th annual parade, the second-oldest in the country (the oldest is Philadelphia's ABC6 Dunkin' Donuts Parade, originally the Gimbel's Parade). Around 3.5 million people gather to watch nearly 30 parade floats, 1,500 dancers and cheerleaders, more than 750 clowns, and several marching bands from around the country weave their way through New York City, according to NYC Tourist.

“The New York Daily News big apple float has been a part of the parade for about 25 years now,” Matt Lauer said during the broadcast of the parade on NBC. “It features such famous landmarks as the Chrysler and Empire State buildings and captures the vitality of the city that never sleeps.”

More from GlobalPost: Macy’s gives 5,000 Thanksgiving parade tickets to Hurricane Sandy victims

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People watch as balloons make their way through NYC streets during the 86th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 22, 2012 in New York City. Macy's donated tickets and transportation to this year's Thanksgiving Day Parade to 5,000 people from neighborhoods hardest hit by Superstorm Sandy.

(Andrew Kelley - AFP/Getty Images)
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Singer Neil Diamond makes his way through Columbus Circle during the 86th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 22, 2012 in New York.

(Andrew Kelley - AFP/Getty Images)
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The Harold the Fireman balloon makes its way through New York during the 86th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

(Andrew Kelley - AFP/Getty Images)
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The Radio City Rockettes perform during day two of the 86th Anniversary Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Rehearsals at Macy's Herald Square on November 20, 2012 in New York City.

(Taylor Hill - AFP/Getty Images)
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Kermit the Frog at the 86th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 22, 2012 in New York City.

(Laura Kavanaugh - AFP/Getty Images)
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The Spiderman balloon makes its way down Sixth Avenue.

(Andrew Kelley - AFP/Getty Images)
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Performers at Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

(Stacey Leasca - GlobalPost)
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A crowd watches the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City.

(Stacey Leasca - GlobalPost)
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The Tom Turkey float winds through New York on Thanksgiving.

(Andrew Kelley - AFP/Getty Images)
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Thomas Share who lives on Beach 117th street in the Rockaways cheers during the 86th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Macy's donated tickets and transportation to this year's Thanksgiving Day Parade to 5,000 people from neighborhoods hardest hit by Superstorm Sandy.

(Andrew Kelley - AFP/Getty Images)
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Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade staff inflate an Uncle Sam balloon in Manhattan's Upper West Side on November 21, 2012 in New York City. The 86th annual event is the second oldest Thanksgiving Day parade in the US.

(Ramin Talaie - AFP/Getty Images)
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Artist KAWS poses in front of his balloon 'Companion' at the 86th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade's 'Inflation Eve' on November 21, 2012 in New York City.

(Taylor Hill - AFP/Getty Images)
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U.S. Olympic gymnasts Kyla Ross, Jordyn Wieber, Alexandra Raisman, Gabby Douglas and McKayla Maroney attend the 86th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 22, 2012 in New York City.

(Mike Lawrie - AFP/Getty Images)
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A view from above of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

(Stacey Leasca - GlobalPost)
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The Hello Kitty float makes its way through NYC.

(Stacey Leasca - GlobalPost)
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