Macy’s kicked off the holiday season tonight on the Upper West Side with their annual Inflation Party, in preparation for tomorrow’s big Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Every year, New Yorkers and tourists alike flock to 79th and Columbus (beside the Museum of Natural History) to get a peek at the giant balloons that will float down 7th Avenue for another hit parade tomorrow.  The sidewalks were filling up quickly by 4pm, as excited children made their way past their favorite characters such as Spiderman, Spongebob, the Energizer Bunny, Kung Fu Panda and even a big blue Smurf.

In capturing the excitement, we may have inadvertently even photographed the “Octomom” with some of her kids.  My first thought was: “Wow, this lady has a lot of kids!”, and then I noticed she wasn’t wearing a wedding ring and I thought, “Whoa, and she’s a single mother??”  Then I looked at her face and noticed the ridiculous collagen-injected lips.  At this point, the wheels started turning a little faster in my head (hey, cut me a break – I’m still recovering from the Eva Mendes Premiere Party).

With a rainbow of brightly colored scarves, ski hats and boots, it was a magical wintry evening as families sipped hot chocolate, listened to holiday music being played over the mobile sound system and enjoyed one of New York’s best holiday traditions.

It’s not too late to catch the action:  Take the subway to 79th street now, but be warned, it’s very crowded!  Nevertheless, this is a quintessential NYC activity.

Happy Thanksgiving!