By Gabriela Resto-Montero and Heather Grossmann
MIDTOWN — Giant balloons, elaborate floats and marching bands made their way through Manhattan during the 83rd Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on Thursday.
The parade kicked off at 9 a.m. at 77th Street and Central Park West. For the first time the parade bypassed Broadway.
Instead, it wound down Seventh Avenue, on to Central Park South and from there to 42nd Street, eventually making its way to 34th Street and 6th Avenue.
The new parade route had more turns this year, which gave the balloon handlers a new challenge to deal with. The biggest challenge for most onlookers was finding a good viewing spot on the street.
Long Island dad Steve Kerner brought two step ladders into Manhattan with him for his three kids to take turns standing on.
“These are little ones. We scaled down this year," Turner said from his 58th Street viewing spot. "We used to bring two six-footers, put a plank across and have the kids sit and watch. I don’t know if you can do that anymore.”
The "Snoopy the Flying Ace" balloon made its sixth appearance in the parade, a record by an inflatable balloon.
Snoopy was joined in the skies above Manhattan by Abby Cadabby from Sesame Street, Buzz Lightyear from Toy Story, Dora the Explorer, Sailor Mickey, Spider Man, Shrek and Super Cute Hello Kitty, among others.
Some of the floats that made their way to Herald Square included Sesame Street, Nickelodeon children's show Yo Gabba Gabba, and The True Spirit of Thanksgiving from the Oneida Nation.
A wide-range of performers from Andrea Bocelli, Katharine McPhee, Jane Krakowski, Jimmy Fallon and The Roots to Smurfette with Papa Smurf were also featured.
Maria Ladisa traveled into Manhattan from Long Island with her two kids, ages 3 and 5. Ladisa didn't mind the new route.
"The worst part is getting up early and getting here," said Ladisa. "But it's all worth it."