The annual celebration of Italian American culture and heritage along 5th Avenue was also seen live on Channel 7 and 7online.
Democrat Bill de Blasio and Republican Joe Lhota each waved to cheering supporters Monday during the 69th annual parade.
De Blasio, who has a commanding lead in the polls, received a warm embrace from Gov. Andrew Cuomo in the parade's first moments. De Blasio and Lhota will square off in the first debate Tuesday night, exactly three weeks before the Nov. 5 general election.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg also marched up Fifth Avenue as part of the celebration. The annual parade runs up Fifth Avenue from 47th Street to 72nd Street, featuring more than 35,000 marchers and more than 100 bands and floats.
This year's grand marshal was renowned Wall Street financier and philanthropist Joseph Perella.
It's organized by the Columbus Citizens Foundation. All proceeds from the parade and related weekend events help fund the Columbus Citizens Foundation's $2 million annual commitment to scholarships for deserving students.