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Giant Balloons For Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Take Shape On Upper West Side

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- The turkey is prepped, the kids are in bed and the balloons are ready to go.

The giant balloons were lined up on the Upper West Side Wednesday night -- in place for Thursday's 85th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade -- ready to dazzle the thousands of people lining the route.

Buzz Lightyear, Kermit the Frog, Snoopy and Spongebob are among the 15 giant helium balloons prepped by crews ahead of the big day.

PHOTOS: Parade Balloons Take Shape

"There's no place like it in the world and there's nothing like it," Shawn McLoughin said.

Watching the balloons being inflated has become as big a Thanksgiving tradition as the parade itself. Despite the rainy weather, workers began inflating Macy's famous giant balloons Wednesday morning.

1010 WINS' Al Jones With Onlookers On The Upper West Side


Lucas Babbio, 4, was amazed to see how the the balloons really were and had quite an amusing reaction when asked by CBS 2's Hazel Sanchez what he thought of them.

"They're as big as our Connecticut house," Babbio said.

EXTRA: Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Guide 2011

With 44 novelty balloon in addition to the 15 giant character ones, everyone seemed to have their particular favorite.

"I like the Smurf one," one girl said.

"I like the Snoopy one," said another.

Standing in front of the Sponge Bob balloon, 1010 WINS' Al Jones asked one young onlooker why she liked the balloon so much.

"Because he's a sponge and I like his laugh and besides, his neighbor Squidward -- he always yells at him all the time," she told Jones.

There are some new balloons, including Paul Frank's "Julius," who with his jet pack, is ready to hit the skies Thursday morning. There's also the return of an old favorite -- Sonic the Hedgehog.

The sandbags, the tarps and the barricades are all being set up on the Upper West Side for the big event.

Tyler and Andy Bean from Boston are some of the tens of thousands of people who are expected to line the streets of New York for the parade tomorrow morning.

Brian Bean says the experience will be precious for a multitude of reasons.

"My mom's going to check it off bucket list, so they came up from North Carolina," he said.

The parade is following a new route this year. It marches down Central Park west to 7th Avenue.

For the first time, marchers will head east on 42nd Street then head downtown at 6th to Herald Square and Macy's front door.

1010 WINS is the Official radio station of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and if you can't be there to watch, you can listen live!

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