NEW YORK, Nov. 26 (UPI) -- Santa Claus arrived to wrap up the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City Thursday afternoon, officially kicking off the Christmas season.
The traditional event featured performances by school marching bands from around the country, as well as Jordin Sparks, Questlove, Mariah Carey, Trey Songz, Jake Owen, Andy Grammer, Panic! At The Disco, Plain White T's, Daughtry, Andra Day, Matthew Morrison, Prince Royce, Mercy Me, Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo, Train and Jennifer Nettles.
Also joining the fun were the Radio City Rockettes, Cirque du Soleil performers and the Muppets from Sesame Street.
The program included musical numbers from the stars of Broadway's On Your Feet, The King and I, Something Rotten!, Finding Neverland, Fiddler on the Roof and School of Rock.
This year, four new giant characters flew over Manhattan: Angry Birds' Red by Rovio Entertainment; the pre-historic and legendary Dino by Sinclair Oil; Ice Age's Scrat and his Acorn by Twentieth Century Fox; and a new version of Ronald McDonald.
Returning characters include Adventure Time with Finn & Jake, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, the Elf on the Shelf, Hello Kitty, How to Train Your Dragon's Toothless, Paddington, Pikachu, the Pillsbury Doughboy, Skylanders Eruptor, Snoopy and Woodstock, SpongeBob SquarePants, the Red Mighty Morphin Power Ranger and Thomas the Tank Engine.