Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, which was attended by approximately 2.5 million spectators in the streets on Thursday morning, returned to pre-pandemic glory.

The 95th Annual Parade features 15 giant balloon characters, 28 floats and 36 novelty and legacy inflatables. There are also more than 800 clowns and 10 marching bands. Nine performance groups include Santa Claus. The celebration features approximately 6,500 performers.

Macy’s produced a spectacular spectacle for our 95th anniversary featuring an array of animated floats, high-flying balloons, and extraordinary performers. Will Coss was the executive producer. 

The parade will be held this year after last year’s downsizing, which saw thousands less participants and a shorter route of one block. Spectators were asked to view the expected holiday tradition only on their TV screens. 

According to Orlando Veras (a Macy’s spokesperson), the parade attracted approximately 2.5 million spectators this year. He said, “We are so happy to be back.” 

With a cheer team and Tom the Turkey, Thursday’s 95th Macy’s annual Thanksgiving parade began

Snoopy, in his Nasa attire, was among the first of 15 giant character balloons to make their way through the Big Apple

Snoopy, in his Nasa attire, was among the first of 15 giant character balloons to make their way through the Big Apple

The parade was open to all spectators after a scaled back version kept people home last year due to the pandemic

Following a cut-down version that was held last year because of the pandemic, everyone could attend.

Some came fully dressed as turkeys and waved to celebrate the parade's triumphant return to form in Manhattan

Some parade goers dressed in turkey costumes waved and clapped for the triumphant return of Manhattan to normalcy.

The parade kicked off at 9 a.m. and goes on until 12 p.m. with a plethora of balloons, floats and performers

Parade starts at 9 AM and continues until noon with many balloons, performers and floats.

The parade features 10 marching bands among its many acts of the morning making their way down New York City

The parade features 10 marching bands among its many acts of the morning making their way down New York City

The parade also features 28 holiday floats. The Jolly Green Giant float was among the first to hit the streets following Tom

It also includes 28 holiday-themed floats. Following Tom’s death, the JollyGreen Giant float made its way to the streets.

New balloon giants joining the line-up include Ada Twist, Scientist; the pint-sized hero from ‘The Mandalorian’ and the Pokémon characters Pikachu and Eevee on a sled.

Snoopy was a mainstay of the parade and wore his NASA suit, making him the longest-running character ever to make an appearance at the Thanksgiving Day Parade. 

There will also be new floats led by the cast of ‘Girls5eva’ – Sara Bareilles, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Paula Pell and Busy Philipps – Nelly and Jordan Fisher, while Jon Batiste will be on an alligator-themed float celebrating Louisiana’s music, food and culture. 

Kelly Rowland (Rob Thomas), Kelly Rowland, Kelly Rowland, Rob Thomas and Kristin Chernoweth will be on hand. 

As one of the new acts, Aespa from South Korea joined the celebrations. 

The Tom Turkey float kicked off the Big Apple's celebration on Thursday morning, with 27 floats set to follow his lead

On Thursday, the Big Apple celebrated with a Tom Turkey float. There were 27 other floats following his lead.

Red Titan, from Ryan's World, soars over New York City with an entourage of superheroes guiding his path

Ryan’s World’s Red Titan soars above New York City, with an entourage full of super heroes guiding him. 

Ada Twist, the pint-sized scientist from the Netflix series, was among one of the newest characters to fly at the parade

Ada Twist was one of the new characters at the parade. She is a pint-sized scientist who appears in the Netflix series.

The beloved SpongeBob SquarePants graced the skies once again with an all-yellow group pulling him along

SpongeBob SquarePants the beloved returned to the skies, this time with an all-yellow crew.  

The three past and current hosts of 'Blue's Clues' - Steve Burns, Donovan Patton and Josh De la Cruz - appeared together

All three of the ‘Blue’s Clues’ hosts – Donovan Patton, Josh De la Cruz and Steve Burns – were present together

Santa Claus's appearance in his sleigh marks the end of the parade and official start to the holiday season

Santa Claus appears in his sleigh marking the official beginning of the holiday season.

New York City's outgoing Mayor Bill de Blasio appeared at the beginning of the parade in front of a holiday Pikachu balloon

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio was seen at the Parade’s beginning in front of a Pikachu balloon.

Children watched the parade from nearby buildings and stared at the giant balloon characters passing by

Children from the nearby streets watched and stared at giant balloon characters as they passed by, while their parents watched.

Some of the balloons that will return include ‘The Boss Baby’ ‘Diary of a Whimpy Kid’ Chase, ‘The Boss Baby’ ‘Diary of a Wimpy Child,’ ‘Diary of a Wimpy Boy,’ ‘Paw Patrol’, ‘Diary of a Pimpy Kid’, ‘Ryan’s World’ Red Titan, ‘Ryan’s World’ Papa Smurf Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic the Hedgehog, and SpongeBob SquarePants. 

The parade route was blocked by the New York Police Department, which also used concrete barriers and sand-filled garbage trucks to block off access.

Parade route officers include counterterrorism and security teams.

Dermot Shea from the Police Department stated there had been no credible threat to the parade.

Paw Patrol's Chase was among the balloon characters, with the mascot from Diary of a Wimpy Kid following behind

Paw Patrol’s Chase was included among the balloon characters. Diary of a Wimpy Kid’s mascot followed closely.

The titular Boss Baby  also made an appearance at the Big Apple joining the other 15 character balloons

The titular Boss Baby  also made an appearance at the Big Apple joining the other 15 character balloons

Sinclair's Dino balloon also made an appearance at the parade with a green dinosaur-themed crew below him

Sinclair’s Dino-themed crew also appeared at the parade.

More than 6,500 performance walked down the streets of Manhattan as part of the holiday celebration

As part of this holiday celebration, more than 6500 performers walked the streets of Manhattan.

The New York Police Department are stationed throughout the parade to maintain safety amid an uneasy holiday season

To ensure safety during an uncertain holiday season, the New York Police Department will be present at all times.

The much-anticipated Baby Yoda balloon was one of the highlights of the morning, and was soon followed by Storm Troopers representing the Star Wars franchise.

Jon Batiste was the top of an alligator-themed parade float called Celebration Gator. It celebrated Louisiana’s food, culture, and music. It was the longest float in parade history, which lasted 95 years. 

Big Bird and Elmo from Sesame Street also appeared on their theme float, waving to the crowds. 

The popular Baby Yoda, Grogu, from The Mandalorian made a big splash at this year's Thanksgiving Day Parade

The Mandalorian’s Baby Yoda Grogu (from The Mandalorian) made quite a splash during this year’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

The villainous Stormtroopers made an appearance as well performing their nefarious march down the streets of NYC

Stormtroopers the villain made an appearance, marching down NYC’s streets in their evil march 

Musician Jon Batiste performed in front of the crowd of thousands a top one of the longest floats in the parade's history

Jon Batiste was front and center for the thousands as he performed his top-of-the-line float, the longest in Parade history. 

There were nine performance dance groups taking the stage at the Thanksgiving Day parade

At the Thanksgiving Day Parade, nine dance troupes performed on the stages

Elmo joined Big Bird's nest and waved on to spectators on the street aboard the popular Sesame Street float

Elmo joined Big Bird in the nest and waved to the crowd aboard the Sesame street float.

Another of the 10 marching bands played on in between floats and balloons to celebrate the holiday

In between the balloons and floats, another of the marching bands performed to celebrate the holiday

Papa Smurf, the Pillsbury Doughboy and other mainstays made appearances. After appearing for the first time in 2018, Goku from Dragon Ball Series remained with the remaining 15 characters balloons. 

Sonic the Hedgehog from video games, was also seen overhead greeting New York City. 

Ballet Hispanico and Jumpers United For Macy’s Parade were among the nine performers that participated in the parade. 

Peacock’s Birds of a Feather Stream together, Louisiana’s Celebration Gator and Kalahari Resorts’ Colossal Wave of Wonder were among the floats.    

Although he's originally about an apple-tall, Papa Smurf joined the Big Apple parade as a humongous balloon

Papa Smurf was originally an apple-tall but he joined the Big Apple Parade as a huge balloon.

The Pillsbury Doughboy followed Papa Smurf as the baking mascot celebrated another year in the NYC skyline

As the NYC skyline grew, the Pillsbury Doughboy joined Papa Smurf.

Goku, in his Super Saiyan Blue form, continues to be a part of the holiday parade after first appearing in 2018

After first showing up in 2018, Goku in Super Saiyan Blue continues to participate in the holiday parade

The Blue Blur, Sonic the Hedgehog, slowed down for a moment to join parade goers in New York City

Sonic the Hedgehog (Blue Blur), slowed down to meet paradegoers in New York City

Flag twirlers took the streets for a display of their skills as they joined about 6,500 others putting on a show this year

The streets were filled with flag-twirlers who joined 6,500 others to put on an impressive show.

Musician Nelly laughed along and waved at the crowd a top Kalahari Resorts' Colossal Wave of Wonder parade float

Nelly the musician laughed with them and waved at everyone atop Kalahari Resorts’ Colossal Wave of Wonder parade flotilla

The crowd cheered and roared in wonder as they were allowed to return in droves for the annual festivity

As the revellers returned in their thousands for the annual celebration, they cheered in amazement and let loose in a raucous chorus. 

The beloved parade also featured more than 800 clowns who marched and goofed off as they walked the streets

This beloved parade featured over 800 clowns, who paraded the streets and wentofy as well.

The White House published a photograph of the phone call and provided the first view of David Rubenstein’s private residence of 13,000 feet that the Biden clan will be staying at.

This photo shows the couple with Al Roker playing and the parade in the background.

According to the White House, Al Roker called the President and First Ladies this morning as they watched NBC Today’s Thanksgiving Day Parade 95th Macy’s with their family.

“My message to America after two years is that we are back. America is back. There’s no obstacle we can overcome. Al, you’re one reason for this, pal. Biden stated that you’re always there, always rooting for America, during the live broadcast on NBC.

President Joe Biden appeared at the parade from a distance, calling beside wife Jill from billionaire David Rubenstein's home

The parade was attended by President Joe Biden, who called beside his wife Jill at billionaire David Rubenstein’s house.

The Ronald McDonald parade float received an upgrade this year as the clown adorned a new holiday suit with a red heart

A new clown holiday suit was added to the Ronald McDonald parade float. It features a red heart and is now more modern.

Cheerleaders performed an amazing, coordinated split on the city's chilly asphalt streets during the parade

Parade participants witnessed amazing coordination between cheerleaders as they performed a spectacular, coordinated turn on city streets made of cold asphalt. 

Children cheered on at the festivities and the long-awaited arrival of Santa Clause at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade

Children cheered at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade festivities, as well as Santa Clause’s long-awaited appearance

The jolly-old elf reveled in the spectacle as he waved and hyped up at the crowd for the magical holiday season

As he exalted the magic of the holiday season, the jolly old elf enjoyed the show and waved at everyone.