Turkey, stuffing and a helium-filled Thomas the Tank Engine were on the menu as friends and families gathered across the United States to celebrate Thanksgiving on Thursday.
The traditional holiday, where Americans celebrate and give thanks for a good harvest, is commonly traced to a 1621 celebration in Plymouth, Massachusetts where the first American colonists, the Pilgrims, invited Native Americans to join them in a feast.
Oohing and ahhing spectators of all ages lined the route of the nationally televised Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, which counted Thomas the Tank Engine, Paddington bear and the Red Mighty Morphin Power Ranger among its six new giant balloons.
It was around 37 degrees (3 Celsius) with a hint of drizzle and light winds as clowns shot a burst of confetti from canisters to get the show rolling.
Rain and snow on Wednesday made getting around on one of the busiest travel days of the year a chaotic experience for some. The sloppy mixture caused hundreds of flights to be grounded in the Northeastern U.S.
Some travelers tried to beat the storm by flying out earlier, and airlines tried to be helpful by waiving re-booking fees. But many flights already were filled, leaving travelers with few options.
In Washington, President Barack Obama said in his weekly radio and Internet address that the first family planned to spend the day with friends and family — catching up, eating good food and watching some football.
He says Thanksgiving is his favorite holiday “because, more than any other, it is uniquely American.”
This story is compiled with information from the Associated Press.