Nov 26, 2009 1:03 PM by Bethany Tucker & Michelle Franzen
Get ready for the oversized cartoon characters floating in the air, the broadway casts performing their best in the bitter cold and, of course, Santa Claus reigning in the holiday season.
It's time for the 83rd annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City.
In the 83-year history of the parade, there have been many changes along the way. This year will be no different. In addition to new giant balloons and floats, there is also a change to the parade's route.
Following last minute rehearsals and more than a year of planning, all is ready for the march down to 34th St. "One of the most famous streets in the world," said John Piper, vice-president and creative director of the parade. "that's where miracles happen."
But for the first time in the parade's history, the route diverts from Broadway, which was made into a pedestrian-only zone earlier this year. Instead, the parade route zigzags down 7th and 6th Avenues before ending in Macy's Herald Square.
This year there are four new giant balloons, including Spiderman and Ronald McDonald. There are also 35 novelty balloons and "balloon-icles," plus 24 floats.
The Late Show's Jimmy Fallon joins the parade. "I'm so excited!" said Fallon. "I think NBC is giving me a little treat, and they let me and the 'Roots' get our own float!"
Santa is excited, too. For for the first time in more than 40 years, Santa will usher in the season on a new float.
Another tradition: the crowds. More than 3.5 million people are expected to line the parade route. Another 50 million will watch from home.
You can catch the 83rd annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on KSBY, during the "Today" show. The show starts at 7:00a.m. and the parade is expected to kick off at about 9:00a.m.
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