It's not every day that you see Fred Flinstone floating down Main Street in Springfield.
Friday marked the Spirit of Springfield's annual parade of big balloons.
Thousands of people of all ages lined Main Street on Friday morning as the parade made its way from Lyman Street to Locust Street.
For many parade-goers, this event was a fun way for families to spend the day after Thanksgiving.
"With all the Black Friday stuff and craziness going, it's something to just do as a family," said Heather Smith of Springfield.
Time with family was one of many things that brought people to the parade. One family drove from Albany, NY, to attend the parade for one main reason.
"Mainly the balloons. There was a pretty good article in the paper, and it showed a bunch of the balloons, the Dr. Seuss balloons," said James Lewis of Albany, NY.
Dr. Seuss's iconic character, "Cat in the Hat," was one of seven balloons featured in the parade.
Fred Flinstone, Apollo and Santa Claus were among the familiar faces.
However, new to the lineup this year was Ray the lion, as well as American flag and snowflake ornaments.
Not only were these balloons bigger than life, but big balloons were also on the list of many kids' parade favorites.
"The thing I look forward to the most are the balloons," said Destiny Fotiathis of Springfield.
"I'm looking forward to most... lots of balloons," said Summar Ottoson of East Longmeadow.
Between the big balloons, there was a series of bands, buzzing cars, dance troops and more as the parade made its way through the city, bringing a lot of holiday cheer and excitement to spectators.
All of the holiday cheer culminated with a visit from Santa Clause.
Following the parade, a holiday open house took place at Tower Square.
Hundreds of people lined up to partake in the holiday festivities, including the festival of trees, a holiday puppet show and photographs taken with cartoon characters.
"It's positive. It's something to start off the Christmas season with," said Jim McCarthy of Springfield.
Copyright 2012 WSHM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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