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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — While most of us spend the night before Thanksgiving prepping for the big feast, the people at Macy’s spend it on the Upper West Side, inflating the balloons that will fly down the parade route.

CBS2’s Jessica Moore and Lonnie Quinn were there Wednesday night to welcome back the tradition, which was canceled last year due to the pandemic.

This year, the parade will feature six new balloons, including Ada Twist the Scientist, Baby Yoda and Pikachu and Eevee.

One float is making history this year. The “Celebration Gator” is the longest float to ever go down the parade route. The colorful reptile is 60 feet from mouth to tail and is a tribute to the culture of Louisiana.

The float will also feature a familiar face — Jon Batiste, the bandleader from “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” on CBS2.

Parade-goers will see performances from Broadway musicals, marching bands, dance groups and cheerleaders.

There are 28 floats in the parade this year, and they are covered in 300 pounds of glitter. Artists also used 240 gallons of paint on all of the parade decorations and created more than 4,500 costumes.

All of that will march down the 2.5 mile parade route for the 95th year.

You can watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on CBS2 starting at 9 a.m. Thursday.

CBSNewYork Team