NEW YORK — Crimped by the coronavirus pandemic last year, the returned Thursday in full, though with precautions.

Balloons, floats, marching bands, clowns and performers — and, of course, Santa Claus — once again wended though 2 1/2 miles (4 kilometers) of Manhattan streets, instead of being confined to one block or sometimes pre-taped last year.

Spectators, shut out in 2020, lined the route again. High school and college marching bands from around the country were invited back to the lineup; most of last year’s performers were locally based to cut down on travel. The giant balloons, tethered to vehicles last year, got their costumed handlers back. And celebrities were in tow. 

One of the most memorable guest appearances came from the “Blue’s Clues” hosts Steve Burns, Donovan Patton and Joshua

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