MANHATTAN (PIX11) — The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade descended on Sixth Avenue on Thursday.

Like every other year, it lived up to the hype. It was a time to enjoy, a time to make new friends and a time to give thanks. 

Security was tight with extra NYPD officers at the ready. They weren’t just protecting the parade,  the NYPD marching band also participated in the festivities.

The parade featured 16 giant balloons, 28 floats, 40 novelty and heritage inflatables, 12 marching bands, 700 clowns, 10 performance groups, a host of celebrity guests and the one and only Santa Claus.

With a mostly clear sky and a light breeze, it was ideal weather conditions for these giant balloons. There were old favorites and new balloons too, including Striker the U.S. Soccer Star, executing an iconic bicycle kick in celebration of the FIFA World Cup and Bluey, the Australian cattle pup making her parade debut.

According to organizers, this annual tradition dates back almost a century, attracting 3 million spectators.