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Millions celebrate annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade in New York
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13:14, November 28, 2008

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Millions of revelers filled the streets of Manhattan in New York Thursday to watch the 82nd annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Some 3.5 million people crowded the streets for the annual event, while another 50 million households reportedly watched from home. Twenty-eight floats; 10 marching bands; and hundreds of clowns, acrobats and cheerleaders accompanied Buzz and the other new balloons: Dr. Seuss's Horton elephant and a Smurf.

Horton the Elephant is a fictional character from the books Horton Hatches the Egg and Horton Hears a Who, both by Dr. Seuss. The Smurfs are a fictional group of small sky blue creatures who live in Smurf Village somewhere in the woods.

The Horton balloon makes its way through Times Square during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York Nov. 27, 2008. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

"Take a picture of Shrek," shouted 3-year-old Tom Birkeley, who was sitting on his father Martin Birkeley's shoulders. "I like Shrek, I want that picture."

The Shrek balloon makes its way through Times Square during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York Nov. 27, 2008. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

Like many others, British the Birkeleys flew to New York to watch the parade and join other customers in the coming Christmas shopping season unfolding Friday.

One float in particular brought cries of delight from children as the giant gas-filled Buzz Light year balloon came by. This was the first time the Disney character was included in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade.

Buzz Light year, which was created in May 26, 1995, is a fictional character that first appeared in the full-length CGI ( Computer-generated Imagery) animated film Toy Story.

People also cheered as singer Miley Cirus, American actress and singer-songwriter, came by waving to her many fans. Other celebrities included the famous New York Radio City Rockettes, a well-known precision dance company performing out of the Radio City Music Hall in Manhattan.

This year's parade route stretched 2.5 miles and wound from Central Park West and West 77th Street to Herald Square, in front of Macy's original, parent store.

The Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade began in 1924 and ran annually except two years during World War II when it was cancelled. For the department store chain this year's parade was extra special considering Macy's was also celebrating its 150th anniversary.

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