PORTLAND, Ore. -- Thousands of excited families came out Friday to watch the annual Macy's Holiday Parade in downtown Portland.
This year's festivities filled the streets with dozens of costumed characters, amazing floats, marching bands and inflatables.
Perennial favorites were on-hand to celebrate, including Raggedy Anne, Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer and, of course, Santa Claus, the parade's star.
Local high school and middle school marching bands got the crowds going with some great music.
One of the parade's most memorable experiences includes seeing thousands of Portland-area kids smiling, enjoying the traditional kick-off to the holiday season.
The parade, sponsored by KGW Newschannel 8 and The Oregonian, started at 8:45 a.m. at Lincoln High School. It wound past the Downtown Macy's and headed right on SW 2nd Avenue to Taylor Street, before heading west to end back near Lincoln High.
New floats this year included a cat riding an ornament, a giant cupcake and a huge pot of poinsettias, store officials say.
The parade opened with a performance by the von Trapp Family Children with the Oregon Symphony.
Local violinist Aaron Meyer was also scheduled to perform before the parade. Santa Claus was scheduled to arrive at Macy's after the parade.