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Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade brightens up New York

Forget the misery brought by Hurricane Sandy, today you could hardly tell that only few days ago, the Big Apple looked like a war-zone. Macy's 86th Annual Thanksgiving Day Parade has been a success so far. It started at 9am this morning from 77th Street and it's currently making its way towards Macy's flagship store at Herald Square (34th Street) through Central Park West, Columbus Circle and 6th Avenue.

Thousands of New Yorkers have poured into the streets to enjoy a day of music and fun, under a bright blue sky filled with enormous helium balloons. Hello Kitty on a biplane leads a spectacular display of inflatable characters, which also includes Kermit the Frog, Papa Smurf, Spiderman, Kung-fu Panda, SpongeBob SquarePants and Charlie Brown. On the ground, Santa Claus together with 900 clowns, 1,600 cheerleaders and dancers, 11 marching bands and 28 floats, makes sure everyone has a good time.

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Some of the biggest US celebrities will be entertaining the crowds, including Carly Rae Jepsen (probably still recovering from the recent American Music Awards 2012 ceremony), Flo Rida, The Roots and Whoopi Goldberg. Kids favourite Jennette McCurdy and Rachel Crow (from the popular Nickelodeon shows "iCarly" and "Fred") are also expected to be there. And in true Thanksgiving spirit, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has helped organising the distribution of over 25,000 Thanksgiving meals to the most affected by Hurricane Sandy, while Macy's has donated tickets and transportation to the Parade.

For those of you lucky enough to be in the Big Apple for Thanksgiving, or if you're planning a trip there for some Christmas shopping, here is a reminder of the most popular New York shopping destinations.

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