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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Gusty winds couldn’t ground the iconic balloons at the 93rd annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City.

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The NYPD cleared them for take-off shortly before the parade stepped off at 9 a.m.

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More than a dozen character balloons were on display this year. Some were beloved classics, while others were new additions, like Astronaut Snoopy – in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the moon landing – Netflix’s Green Eggs and Ham and SpongeBob SquarePants’ pet snail, Gary.

It took some extra muscle for their handlers to contend with the winds.

Handlers had to wrangle a Nutcracker balloon when it bounced around and a parade marcher ran right into it. CBS2 was told she is fine.

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A Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade balloon knocks over a parade worker on Nov. 28, 2019. (Credit: Adam Parker/Storyful)

“Smokey the Bear” was trying to get away from his handlers.

“The wind was whipping us all over it was great we had it under control the whole time,” one handler said.

So there was no disappointment from kids when they spied characters they love. They also cheered for cheerleaders, dancers, and marching band members.

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As many as 3.5 million spectators from near and far were expected to line the 2.5-mile route.

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“Happy Thanksgiving from Ireland!” said one boy.