Photo: Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade soaks up the sun

The 96th-annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City made a spectacular return as crowds gathered in the thousands to watch cowgirls pirouette along Central Park drenched in glorious sunlight, giant clowns pass office windows, and famous faces wave from flotillas.

The Tom Turkey float leads the way down Central Park West on Thursday.  (Jeenah Moon / AP)
The Tom Turkey float leads the way down Central Park West on Thursday. (Jeenah Moon / AP)

The Tom Turkey float leads the way down Central Park West, guided by police officers on motorcycles.

Spectators line Sixth Avenue as they watch clowns, floats and balloons go by during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. (Jeenah Moon / AP)
Spectators line Sixth Avenue as they watch clowns, floats and balloons go by during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. (Jeenah Moon / AP)

Spectators line the streets as clowns, floats and balloons go by during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

The Boss Baby balloon makes its way down Sixth Avenue during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022, in New York. (Jeenah Moon / AP)
The Boss Baby balloon makes its way down Sixth Avenue during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022, in New York. (Jeenah Moon / AP)

The Boss Baby balloon towers over Sixth Avenue.

Ronald McDonald float passes office buildings on Sixth avenue during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on Nov. 24, 2022 in New York.  (Michael Loccisano / Getty Images; Matt Nighswander / NBC News)
Ronald McDonald float passes office buildings on Sixth avenue during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on Nov. 24, 2022 in New York. (Michael Loccisano / Getty Images; Matt Nighswander / NBC News)

The Ronald McDonald float passes office buildings giving onlookers a close up view.

Spectators toss confetti as the parade makes its way down Central Park Avenue West during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, Nov. 24, 2022, in New York. (Julia Nikhinson / AP)
Spectators toss confetti as the parade makes its way down Central Park Avenue West during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, Nov. 24, 2022, in New York. (Julia Nikhinson / AP)

Spectators toss confetti as the parade makes its way down Central Park West. The annual Macy's parade includes 16 giant character balloons, 28 floats, and 12 marching bands. Organizers expected more than 2.5 million spectators to come out for it.

Image: Macy's Annual Thanksgiving Day Parade Takes Place In New York City (Alexi J. Rosenfeld / Getty Images)
Image: Macy's Annual Thanksgiving Day Parade Takes Place In New York City (Alexi J. Rosenfeld / Getty Images)

Dancers with the Tom Turkey float make their way past Central Park.

Emma Broyles, Miss America 2022 attends the 2022 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 24, 2022 in New York City. (Michael Loccisano / Getty Images)
Emma Broyles, Miss America 2022 attends the 2022 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 24, 2022 in New York City. (Michael Loccisano / Getty Images)

Emma Broyles, Miss America 2022 waves to the crowd as onlookers watch a giant Bluey float pass by their window.

The University of Missouri marching band makes its way down Central Park West during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/Julia Nikhinson) (Julia Nikhinson / AP)
The University of Missouri marching band makes its way down Central Park West during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/Julia Nikhinson) (Julia Nikhinson / AP)

The University of Missouri marching band makes its way down Central Park West.

A parade performer in a Christmas Tree leads a giant candy cane down Sixth avenue.  (Jeenah Moon / AP)
A parade performer in a Christmas Tree leads a giant candy cane down Sixth avenue. (Jeenah Moon / AP)

A parade performer dressed as a Christmas Tree leads a giant candy cane down Sixth avenue.

Handlers pull the Smokey Bear balloon down Sixth Avenue, a regular fixture during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. (Jeenah Moon / AP)
Handlers pull the Smokey Bear balloon down Sixth Avenue, a regular fixture during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. (Jeenah Moon / AP)

Handlers pull the Smokey Bear balloon down Sixth Avenue.

A Mexican marching band leads the Ada Twist, Scientist balloon. (Yuki Iwamura / AFP - Getty Images)
A Mexican marching band leads the Ada Twist, Scientist balloon. (Yuki Iwamura / AFP - Getty Images)

A Mexican marching band leads the Ada Twist, Scientist balloon.

Jimmy Fallon smiles toward the crowd during the Thanksgiving parade.  (Noam Galai / Getty Images)
Jimmy Fallon smiles toward the crowd during the Thanksgiving parade. (Noam Galai / Getty Images)

Jimmy Fallon smiles toward the crowd during the Thanksgiving parade.

People gather on the balcony of the Langham hotel as floats pass.  (Yuki Iwamura / AFP - Getty Images)
People gather on the balcony of the Langham hotel as floats pass. (Yuki Iwamura / AFP - Getty Images)

People gather on the balcony of the Langham hotel as floats pass.

A mounted NYPD officer smiles as people take pictures during the parade.  (Yuki Iwamura / AFP via Getty Images)
A mounted NYPD officer smiles as people take pictures during the parade. (Yuki Iwamura / AFP via Getty Images)

A mounted NYPD officer smiles as people take pictures during the parade.

Image: Macy's Annual Thanksgiving Day Parade Takes Place In New York City (Alexi J. Rosenfeld / Getty Images)
Image: Macy's Annual Thanksgiving Day Parade Takes Place In New York City (Alexi J. Rosenfeld / Getty Images)

Spectators cheer along Central Park West.

The Santa Claus float, complete with reindeer and elves.  (Yuki Iwamura / AFP via Getty Images)
The Santa Claus float, complete with reindeer and elves. (Yuki Iwamura / AFP via Getty Images)

The Santa Claus float, complete with reindeer and elves.

Macy's Day Parade Cheerleaders Central Park South (Jeenah Moon / AP)
Macy's Day Parade Cheerleaders Central Park South (Jeenah Moon / AP)

Cheerleaders from the University of Missouri marching band.

Crowds line the street and pack windows to get a view of the 2022 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on Nov. 24, 2022 in New York City. (Michael Loccisano / Getty Images)
Crowds line the street and pack windows to get a view of the 2022 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on Nov. 24, 2022 in New York City. (Michael Loccisano / Getty Images)

Crowds line the street and pack windows to get a view of the 2022 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on Nov. 24, 2022 in New York City, one year after the first parade since the Covid-19 pandemic halted the annual celebration.

This article was originally published on NBCNews.com