Macy's NYC parade getting into monkey business

By CRISTIAN SALAZAR | November 23, 2011 | 2:25 PM EST

NEW YORK (AP) — There'll be some monkeying around at this year's Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

A huge helium balloon of Paul Frank's famed Julius the monkey is expected to make its debut in front of millions of spectators on Thursday.

Sporting a jetpack, the 41-foot-tall Julius joins 14 other giant balloons.

Macy's parade also is expected to feature 44 other balloon creations, 27 floats, 800 clowns and 1,600 cheerleaders.

Organizers say Mary J. Blige, Cee Lo Green, Avril Lavigne and the Muppets of Sesame Street will participate, some taking the stage at the end of the route in Herald Square and others performing on floats.

The parade begins at 77th Street and heads south on Central Park West to Seventh Avenue. It then moves to Sixth Avenue before ending at Macy's Herald Square.