NEW YORK - The 86th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade , Macy's Balloonfest, is undergoing some changes this year, including several new floats and a route change.
For the first time in 86 years the annual parade, a holiday tradition in New York City, will make it's way down 6th Avenue. Parade organizers say that this year's route is wider, and will allow more people to view the parade.
Hundreds of volunteers got up early to do a trial run of some of the hot air balloons slated to appear in the parade in East Rutherford, New Jersey on Saturday morning. Volunteers prepare for the parade by training up to a year in advance. Up to 70 volunteers can be required to steer one balloon. Volunteers must be physically fit to meet the challenge of walking the entire route.
The new hot air balloons to be unveiled this year depict children's book character 'Elf on the Shelf', the cartoon characters Papa Smurf, and Hello Kitty who will be riding in her own plane.
The parade is scheduled to take place on Thursday, November 22nd. The television broadcast will begin at 7:30 am.