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In Pictures: Thanksgiving Day parade balloons soar in the United States to launch holiday season

Spiderman, Snoopy, Hello Kitty and Pikachu and other iconic balloons received the all-clear from the New York Police Department to fly between Manhattan skyscrapers on Thursday as part of annual New York Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. After fears the balloons could be grounded due to strong winds they sailed through the streets albeit at lower heights than usual. An estimated 3.5 million spectators lined the route. Another 50 million watched on television. Thanksgiving Day celebrates the harvest and blessings of the past year, and launches the US holiday season.

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