NEW YORK (FOX5NY.COM) - The night before Thanksgiving is quintessentially New York. It is a chance to sneak a peek at the world-famous Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade balloons.
From babies and toddlers to those who are young at heart, they come from near and far. And everybody seems to have a favorite on the Upper West Side: Pikachu, Jet, Charlie Brown, Hello Kitty.
The excitement is tangible as the helium inflates the stars of the show. This year's event will feature 26 floats and 17 balloons—four of which are new, like Olaf and Chase from Paw Patrol and a special homage to the iconic movie "A Miracle on 34th Street.
Susan Tercero with Macy's says 3.5 million people will line the parade route this year and an estimated 50 million will watch at home. It is a huge event that requires a lot of manpower. And that effort begins long before the balloons rise up in the morning sky.
Security is extra tight this year, with measures that resemble the Times Square ball drop. And yet that didn't deter some 200,000 people from braving the wind and cold to experience the magic that is Thanksgiving Eve in New York City.