Macy's Thanksgiving Parade

Handlers steer the Ronald McDonald balloon down Sixth Avenue during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on Thursday in New York. The annual tradition dates back nearly a century.

NEW YORK — Throngs of spectators lined the streets of New York on Thursday as colorful, high-flying balloons helped usher in the holiday season during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

The annual tradition, which dates back nearly a century, packed streets as a procession of giant inflatables and floats streamed for more than 40 blocks from Central Park to Herald Square.

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