The annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade was a welcome respite for a city still reeling from the effects of Hurricane Sandy. Hosted by NBC’s Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie, the parade had an estimated three million in attendance and a television audience of 50 million viewers. Among those celebrities and performers in attendance were the cast of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Whoopi Goldberg, Chris Isaak, Carly Rae Jepsen, Karmin and the members of the U.S. Women’s Gymnastics team.

Among the new balloons for the parade were an updated version of Hello Kitty, Papa Smurf, and the Elf on a Shelf. Other notable balloons were Buzz Lightyear and Sailor Mickey Mouse and the Pillsbury Doughboy.

Rapper Flo Rida participated in the parade, riding on the New York Daily News float. “I know I’m from Miami, but I come to New York City a lot,” Flo Rida told the newspaper before his big performance. “It’s very special to ride on the float of New York’s hometown newspaper.”

Sadly, the parade was not without tragedy as two people died during the festivities. Robert Blasetti, 67, was performing as a clown when he collapsed on the parade route at Sixth Ave. and West 39th Street. He went into cardiac arrest and was pronounced dead at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital. Charles Sutton, 58, was towing a car on West 57th Street when he had an apparent heart attack.

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