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Thursday 18 December 2014

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

A giant Uncle Sam balloon is marched down 6th Avenue during the 87th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, Thursday, Nov. 28, 2013, in New York. After fears the balloons could be grounded if sustained winds exceeded 23 mph, Snoopy, Spider-Man and the rest of the iconic balloons received the all-clear from the New York Police Department to fly between Manhattan skyscrapers on Thursday. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
A giant Uncle Sam balloon is marched down 6th Avenue during the 87th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, Thursday, Nov. 28, 2013, in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Performers march during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, Thursday, Nov. 28, 2013, in New York. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
A giant balloon depicting the cartoon character Woodstock casts a shadow on a building behind spectators during the 87th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, Thursday, Nov. 28, 2013, in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Snoopy flies by as spectators look on during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, Thursday, Nov. 28, 2013, in New York. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Workers prepare the giant Snoopy balloon before the 87th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, Thursday, Nov. 28, 2013, in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Saban's Power Rangers Super Megaforce walk alongside the Earth balloon, ready to save the world during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City on Thursday, Nov. 28, 2013, in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision for Saban Brands/AP Images)
A Sonic the Hedgehog Ballon is marched down 6th Avenue during the 87th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, Thursday, Nov. 28, 2013, in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Paul Frank's Julius balloon greets millions of fans with his 19-foot smile at the 87th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on Thursday, Nov. 28, 2013, in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision for Saban Brands/AP Images)
Paul Frank's Julius soars past Radio City Music Hall during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on Thursday, Nov. 28, 2013, in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision for Saban Brands/AP Images)
The Spiderman balloon makes it way across New York's Central Park South during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Thursday Nov. 28, 2013. (AP Photo/Tina Fineberg)
A giant Snoopy balloon is marched through Columbus Circle during the 87th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, Thursday, Nov. 28, 2013, in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
The Wizard of Oz balloon makes it way through New York's Columbus Circle during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, Thursday, Nov. 28, 2013. (AP Photo/Tina Fineberg)
The Papa Smurf balloon, left, passes a partially deflated dreidel balloon, right, as it is tended to along the parade route during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, Thursday, Nov. 28, 2013, in New York. (AP Photo/Tina Fineberg)
The Sonic the Hedgehog balloon makes it way down New York's Central Park west during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, Thursday, Nov. 28, 2013. (AP Photo/Tina Fineberg)
The Santa's Sleigh float makes it way across New York's Central Park South during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Thursday Nov. 28, 2013. (AP Photo/Tina Fineberg)
Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus wave to spectators during the 94th annual Thanksgiving Day Parade, Thursday, Nov. 28, 2013, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/ Joseph Kaczmarek)
Members of the Brentwood High School Marching Band play during the 94th annual Thanksgiving Day Parade, Thursday, Nov. 28, 2013, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/ Joseph Kaczmarek)
Alan Nava, 9, top left, of Queens, N.Y., reacts as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles float approach during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, Thursday, Nov. 28, 2013, in New York. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Members of the Pennsbury High School Marching Band play during the 94th annual Thanksgiving day parade, Thursday, Nov. 28, 2013, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/ Joseph Kaczmarek)
A giant Snoopy balloon passes a balcony of spectators during the 87th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, Thursday, Nov. 28, 2013, in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Members of the James Madison University Royal Dukes marching band rile up the crowds during the 87th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, Thursday, Nov. 28, 2013, in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Lindt Chocolate float, showcasing the mastery of premium chocolate featuring Goo Goo Dolls, joins the exclusive lineup of floats in the 87th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 28, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Taylor Hill/Getty Images)
Lindt Chocolate float featuring Goo Goo Dolls, joins the exclusive lineup of floats in the 87th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 28, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Taylor Hill/Getty Images for Lindt)
Santa Claus waves during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 28, 2013 in New York City. Despite earlier concerns about the wind, the balloons flew as planned for the parade. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
The Papa Smurf balloon floats above the street during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 28, 2013 in New York City. Despite earlier concerns about the wind, the balloons flew as planned for the parade. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
The Papa Smurf balloon floats above the street during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 28, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
The Uncle Sam balloon floats above the street during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 28, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
Residents in an appartment block watch as giant balloons float past during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 28, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
Sonic the Hedgehog balloon floats above the street during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 28, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
Performers walk alongside giant floating balloons during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 28, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
Residents in an appartment block watch as giant balloons float past during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 28, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
Residents in an appartment block watch as giant balloons float past during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 28, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
Spectators watch as the Hello Kitty balloon floats above the street during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 28, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)

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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