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Holiday parade hits Downtown Pittsburgh for 32nd year

Keith Hodan | Tribune-review KJH parade1127 2.jpg Rick Wills story
Kermit the Frog greets the crowd along Fifth Avenue, Downtown, during the My Macy's Holiday Parade, Saturday, November 26th, 20111.

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My Macy's Holiday Parade

When: The two-hour parade starts at 9 a.m. Saturday

Admission: Free

Where: Starting at Liberty Avenue in the Strip District, proceeds onto Grant Street, winds right onto Fifth Avenue and left onto Stanwix Street.

On TV: WPXI will air the parade live. Replays will air at 8 p.m. Saturday and 7 a.m. Dec. 25 on PCNC (Pittsburgh Cable News Channel); 7 p.m. Dec. 3 on MeTV; and 2 a.m. Dec. 24, 5 a.m. Dec. 25, and noon Dec. 30 on WPXI

Details: www.pittsburghparade.com

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On Saturday, giant balloon versions of characters like Kermit the Frog, Fred Flintstone, Bugs Bunny and Garfield will float down the streets of Downtown, along with marching bands, singers, decorated floats, Santa Claus and more in a giant parade.

Sound familiar? This may sound like the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, held in New York City on Thursday. But this parade — the 32nd annual My Macy's Holiday Parade — is right here in Pittsburgh on Saturday.

“We try to think of ourselves as the Pittsburgh version of (the New York parade),” says Mark Barash, executive in charge of the parade and program director for WPXI, which is presenting and airing the parade. “You see the (character balloons) coming down the street, and the kids are in awe.”

Highlights of the parade include live entertainment from Chairmen of the Board, a '70s band known for the hit “Give Me Just a Little More Time,” and Michael Grimm and Bianca Ryan, winners from past seasons of NBC's “America's Got Talent.” A renowned puppeteer known only as Christopher will be performing a salute to Michael Jackson. Steelers Hall of Famer Franco Harris will be celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Immaculate Reception by throwing a pass to Buddy, the dog from “Air Bud,” when they step off the float.

Kellie B. Gormly is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at kgormly@tribweb.com or 412-320-7824.

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