Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade brings new balloons, holiday cheer

Millions of people began their Thanksgiving marveling at soaring balloons and star-studded floats at the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Thursday morning.

This year’s new balloons included the lovable Olaf from the animated film “Frozen,” which had kids giggling and shrieking with delight. But classic characters still proved popular — including a giant Charlie Brown struggling to untangle a kite.

As the Peanuts character made its way down Central Park West, the crowd started chanting, "Charlie Brown! Charlie Brown!"

For Nicholas Bellucci, 11, of Long Island, an annual parade attendee, the moment was a highlight.

RELATED: 2017 Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade

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2017 Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade
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2017 Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade
New York Police Officers stand guard during the 91st Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., November 23, 2017. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz
A clown takes part in the 91st Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York, New York, U.S., November 23, 2017. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
Miss America Cara Mund takes part in the 91st Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York, New York, U.S., November 23, 2017. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
Participants march during the 91st Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., November 23, 2017. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz
The Ice Age's Scrat and his Acorn balloon are carried during the 91st Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York, New York, U.S., November 23, 2017. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
New York Police Officers stand guard during the 91st Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., November 23, 2017. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz
Participants march during the 91st Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., November 23, 2017. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz
The Sinclair Dinosaur balloon is carried during the 91st Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York, New York, U.S., November 23, 2017. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
Singer Smokey Robinson takes part in the 91st Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York, New York, U.S., November 23, 2017. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
Harold The Fireman is carried down Central Park West during the 91st Macy?s Thanksgiving Day Parade in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., November 23, 2017. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz
The Trolls balloon is carried during the 91st Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York, New York, U.S., November 23, 2017. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
The Hello Kitty balloon is carried during the 91st Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York, New York, U.S., November 23, 2017. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
The Angry Birds Red balloon is held during the 91st Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York, New York, U.S., November 23, 2017. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
The Harold the Baseball Player balloon is held during the 91st Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York, New York, U.S., November 23, 2017. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
The SpongeBob Squarepants balloon is held during the 91st Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York, New York, U.S., November 23, 2017. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
The Rex The Happy Dragon balloon takes part in the 91st Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York, New York, U.S., November 23, 2017. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
Participants take part in the 91st Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York, New York, U.S., November 23, 2017. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
Participants take part in the 91st Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York, New York, U.S., November 23, 2017. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
Santa Claus takes part in the 91st Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York, New York, U.S., November 23, 2017. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
The Elf on the Shelf balloon takes part in the 91st Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York, New York, U.S., November 23, 2017. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
The Grinch Who Stole Christmas balloon takes part in the 91st Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York, New York, U.S., November 23, 2017. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
The Elf On The Shelf is carried down Central Park West during the 91st Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., November 23, 2017. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz
Spectators watch the 91st Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York, New York, U.S., November 23, 2017. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
Nov 23, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; A float of the Spirit of Detroit travels slowly down Woodward Avenue during America's Thanksgiving Day Parade before the game between the Detroit Lions and the Minnesota Vikings at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 23, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; A float of a fish travels down Woodward Avenue during America's Thanksgiving Day Parade before the game between the Detroit Lions and the Minnesota Vikings at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
A marching band take part during the 91st Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., November 23, 2017. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz
SpongeBob SquarePants is carried down Central Park West during the 91st Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., November 23, 2017. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz
People watch the 91st Macy?s Thanksgiving Day Parade in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., November 23, 2017. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz
Participants take part during the 91st Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., November 23, 2017. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz
Nov 23, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers mascot Paws during the America's Thanksgiving Day Parade before the game between the Detroit Lions and the Minnesota Vikings at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports
Macy's Harold The Fireman balloon make its way down 6th Ave during the 91st Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., November 23, 2017. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
Santa Claus makes his way down Central Park West during the 91st is Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., November 23, 2017. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz
The Pikachu balloon make its way down 6th Ave during the 91st Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., November 23, 2017. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
People watch the 91st Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., November 23, 2017. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz
Nov 23, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; A float during the America's Thanksgiving Day Parade before the game between the Detroit Lions and the Minnesota Vikings at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 23, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; A float during the America's Thanksgiving Day Parade before the game between the Detroit Lions and the Minnesota Vikings at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports
The Super Wings' Jet balloon make its way down 6th Ave during the 91st Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., November 23, 2017. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
The Tom Turkey float makes its way down 6th Ave during the 91st Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., November 23, 2017. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
Ronald McDonald is carried down Central Park West during the 91st Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., November 23, 2017. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz
The Ice Age's Scrat & His Acorn and the Ronald McDonald balloons makes their way down 6th Ave during the 91st Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., November 23, 2017. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
Participants arrive to take part during the 91st Macy?s Thanksgiving Day Parade in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., November 23, 2017. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz
New York Police Officers stand guard before the 91st Macy?s Thanksgiving Day Parade in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., November 23, 2017. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 23: Singer and actress Jo Jo Siwa takes part in the 91st Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 22, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 23: Bebe Rexha attends the 91st Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 23, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Noam Galai/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 23: Saban's Mighty Morphin Power Ranger Balloon at the 91st Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 23, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images for Saban Brands)
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"Charlie Brown's (my favorite) because everybody likes to chant his name,” he said.

The celebration also drew first-timers, like Ryan Lingor, 36, a doctor who lives on the Upper East Side.

"It's my first time here for the Thanksgiving Day Parade. I really wanted to see the balloons and all the floats and all the people out here," he said.

Teresa Lopez, 29, an ultrasound technician from the Bronx even brought her pooch Bella along for the parade.

"She's fascinated by the balloons," she said. "We're just taking it all in right now — this is our first time."

Others traveled from more far-flung locales to take in the scene, like Victoria Haynes and her 8-year-old daughter, Ally, who came from Memphis, Tennessee, to watch the spectacle.

"Wonderful. It's so exciting! I never thought I would be able to come," Haynes told the Daily News.

"It's great. I've never been to New York before. I love it," little Ally said.

"I think what I like the most was Hello Kitty riding in her plane. I'm really excited about Spongebob!"

Mike Hines, 31, came all the way from Massachusetts to see the parade with his family. They had been stationed on Sixth Avenue and W. 56 St. since 6:30 a.m. to get a prime spot, despite the chilly temperature.

"It's cold," he said. "We never come here — I watch football."

His wife, Laci Hines, was excited to see Jimmy Fallon, who rode aboard a guitar-themed float with his show’s house band, The Roots.

"He just waved, but I love him!" Hines said.

Just as people weren’t discouraged by the cold, the specter of terror also didn’t seem to diminish the crowds — though the NYPD had a visible presence along the route for the parade, which comes less than a month after a man mowed down pedestrians, killing eight people, in a downtown bike lane in act of terror.

There was no cross-town traffic allowed along the route, and the department deployed sand trucks and other measures to protect marchers and spectators from the threat of vehicle attacks. Sharpshooters dotted rooftops and Mayor de Blasio and Police Commissioner James O’Neill had encouraged spectators to say something if they saw something.

In his Thanksgiving message to the police department, O’Neill thanked the force for spending their holiday keeping others safe, particularly the thousands deployed at the parade.

“Policing is a unique profession and you carry out your duties uniquely well — every day of the year. I know the sacrifices you make, including being away from your own families on holidays like this,” he wrote.

The parade saw an unscripted interlude when demonstrators with The Seed Project tried to block the route to demonstrate in support of the Dream Act to allow undocumented people who came to the country as kids a path to citizenship.

“Why did Dreamers interrupt the #MacysParade?” the group tweeted, along with a photo of people sitting in the road as a marching band approached. "I am doing this to bring dignity to our undocumented community, without fear. I want to bring awareness that while some families are together, others are being torn apart.”

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