PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Smiles were bright and so was the sunshine as the 6abc Dunkin' Thanksgiving Day Parade stepped off for its 103rd year in Philadelphia.
The event was once again jam-packed with entertainment for the whole family.
"We just come every year, and it's super fun. We love it so much," said Shaelie Young and Cali Domico from Westville, New Jersey.
"My dad used to bring me out when I was a kid and hoist me up on his shoulders," said Ty Jackson of Wilmington.
Balloon handlers smiled and spun, keeping the energy high.
"The kids love all the spinning, and so we try to accommodate them," said balloon handler Carmen Lopez of Vineland.
Special guests included "Abbot Elementary's" Quinta Brunson and Sheryl Lee Ralph, who blew kisses to the crowd.
Brunson even surprised our Jim Gardner who is set to retire at the end of the year.
The Marions and Brisboys from Montgomery County come out every year. Well, most of them do.
"We come to the parade, and their grandmother and their mother stay home and cook dinner," laughed grandpa.
Before the sun came up, "Inflation Station" was where the balloons came to life. The average balloon contains 3,500 cubic feet of helium, according to Dezi Cruz of Starbound Entertainment.
"As we're blowing the balloons up, we have to do chamber by chamber, like a leg at one time, an arm at another time," Cruz explained. "Each balloon is like a puzzle."
As usual spectators lined the route, filled with holiday spirit for a family and Philadelphia tradition. Some spectators were even sporting their best "Jim Gardner" mustache to pay tribute to his legendary career.