The 86th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade steps off at 9 a.m. on Thursday at 77th Street and Central Park West in Manhattan.
This year, the parade travels down 6th Avenue and ends at 34th Street/ Macy's Herald Square.
8,000 marchers including those holding down massive, inflated balloons are taking part in the festivities. Millions are expected to be watching along the parade route and on television.
The weather appears to be cooperating for the big day with sunny skies forecasted and a high in the low 50s.
Among those in attendance will be as many as 5,000 victims of Hurricane Sandy who were invited by Macy's and the city.
Getting to the parade can be a challenge, but traffic expert Gridlock Sam Schwartz said this year might not be as bad.
"With the parade going down 6th Ave. this year, it ill be easier for people on Madison Ave. I don't think you'll get the same kind of crowds as Times Square. Bryant Park is a great place to watch the parade," Schwartz told Good Day NY.
For people driving into the city for the parade, Schwartz recommends staying south of 30th Street and north of 81st Street.
"Stick with Madison Avenue," said Schwartz.
The fun begins as early as 10:00 a.m. Wednesday with the inflation of the balloons.
The NYPD shared the following street closure information related to the parade:
- November 21st, 81st Street and 77th Street from Central Park West to Columbus Avenue will be closed to vehicular traffic. The balloon inflation can be viewed by pedestrians from 3 p.m. until 10 p.m. on 81st Street and 77th Street from Central Park West to Columbus Avenue.
- Pedestrians are advised to enter the viewing area from the West side of Columbus Avenue at 79th Street. After 10 p.m., 81st Street and 77th Street from Central Park West to Columbus Avenue as well as Central Park West from 59th Street to 86th Street will be closed to all traffic
Read more: http://www.myfoxny.com/story/20156639/2012-macys-thanksgiving-parade#ixzz2CrsiX649