23 NOVEMBER 2007

There were giant balloons, cheerleaders, marching bands and celebrities in abundance as New York's Thanksgiving Day Parade got the holiday season off to a colourful start.

Phantom Of The Opera star Sarah Brightman was one of the many Broadway stars invited to join the fun. Taking inspiration from The Pirates Of The Caribbean, the singer - dressed as a swashbuckling maiden - performed her 2003 hit The Journey Home from the bows of a Jolly Roger float.

Close to 3.5 million spectators lined the city streets to see the annual procession, which this year also featured performances by the casts of the musicals Young Frankenstein, Xanadu, and Legally Blonde.

Surveying the proceedings from atop a jungle-themed float were Terri Urwin, the widow of Australian crocodile hunter Steve, and their daughter Bindi. Other performers included country legend Dolly Parton and Nicole Richie's fiancé Joel Madden, who joined his band Good Charlotte to entertain the crowds with their dance floor anthem I Don't Wanna Be In Love

Photo: ©
One of the Broadway stars entertaining the Big Apple crowds during the three-hour parade was British Phantom Of the Opera singer Sarah Brightman, who sang from the helm of a Jolly Roger floatPhoto: © RexClick on photos for gallery
Photo: ©
Also joining the annual parade was TV presenter Terri, the wife of legendary crocodile hunter Steve, and their daughter Bindi, who waved to spectators from a jungle-themed floatPhoto: © Getty Images