updated 11/26/2008 3:33:43 PM ET 2008-11-26T20:33:43

"Toy Story" astronaut Buzz Lightyear, Dr. Seuss' gentle elephant Horton and a Smurf are joining Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

The giant cartoon characters will take their place among dozens of other balloons, 28 floats, 10 marching bands and hundreds of clowns and cheerleaders wending their way down Broadway in Thursday's spectacle. The parade also features performers including Miley Cyrus, Trace Adkins, James Taylor and the Radio City Rockettes.

Organizers say about 3.5 million people are expected to pack Manhattan streets to see the 82nd annual parade, with another 50 million watching on television. The route winds from Central Park West to Herald Square, in front of Macy's flagship store.

The festivities get under way when workers inflate the balloons Wednesday evening. Also new among them is a tribute to the late artist Keith Haring.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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