PORTLAND, Ore. – The 29th annual My Macy's Holiday Parade took place on Friday in downtown Portland. The My Macy's Holiday Parade features 25 inflatable floats, local middle and high school marching bands, nearly 650 costumed characters, and community drill teams.

Parade attendees can look forward to the return of a polar bear after a four-year hiatus and the debut of a festive snowman bouncing down the parade route, both standing at more than 12 feet tall and 11 feet wide.

"Portland's holiday season officially starts when the My Macy's Holiday Parade steps off on Friday morning. It is a time-honored tradition and local favorite," said Denise Hinton, manager of event operations at Macy's, in a prepared release. "The joy it brings to kids and adults alike is exactly why we are thrilled to produce the event every November."

PROGRAMMING NOTE: Our live-stream coverage of the Friday Pioneer Courthouse Square tree-lighting will begin at 5 p.m. Watch here or on the KGW News app or on our KGW Facebook page.

For the first time, the parade will feature an inflatable costume in the form of a joyful elf from Santa's workshop – the same elf that at-home viewers of the New York City Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade have watched during the parade's ribbon cutting ceremony. The mobility of the costume allows for greater interaction with parade attendees and is sure to delight children of all ages.

This year, the parade route begins at 9th Avenue and West Burnside, then travels south on 9th Avenue, east on SW Stark Street, south on SW Broadway, east on SW Alder Street and passes the Macy's store between 5th and 6th Avenues. It continues east on Alder Street to 4th Avenue, turns north on 4th Avenue, west on West Burnside, north on NW Broadway, west on NW Flanders and then ends on NW Flanders at NW Park Avenue.

The parade begins promptly at 9 a.m. and continues for approximately one hour, concluding with Santa dashing through Portland in his sleigh. Following the parade, attendees can meet Santa at his Portland holiday post in Macy's Santaland on Level A, which opens at 11 a.m. Santaland is open to visitors of all ages from Nov. 25 to Dec. 24.

Photos from Thanksgiving Day's 2016 Macy's Holiday Parade in New York City: