Is Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Happening This Year?

by Madison Miller
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Thanksgiving is now right around the corner. For many people, their Thanksgiving Day starts off with the same tradition every year.

That is gathering together on the couch and turning on the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The morning includes watching artists perform on elaborate floats and watching balloons soar between the New York skyscrapers.

The finale is always marked with Santa arriving to signal the start of the Christmas season.

However, due to the national pandemic and a huge soar in COVID-19 numbers recently, many people are wondering if the parade will be happening this year.

The answer is yes. However, be prepared for some pretty substantial differences to the normal tradition of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Switching to a TV Set

Instead of creating a huge spectacle right in the heart of New York City, a lot of this year’s performances will be done before-hand on a closed TV-set.

In order to safely execute the parade, Macy’s decided to scrap the 2.5-mile route that leads through blocks of NYC before ending up in front of the Macy’s store. The majority of the show will be produced for a couple of days leading up to Thanksgiving.

Susan Tercero, the executive producer of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, urges people that despite the change, most of the traditions will still be there. However, major COVID-19 protocols are in place. This includes many performers wearing masks and face shields while performing and in-between events.

“While it will may look different in execution, we invite everyone to tune in and experience our incredible celebration on television featuring our signature character balloons, dazzling animated floats, whimsical clowns, world-class performances, and of course the arrival of Santa Claus, who will once again herald the start of the holiday season,” Tercero said to ABC 7.

The parade will still be using the one-block stretch of 34th street in front of the Macy’s store to showcase parts of the show that can’t fit inside.

How to Watch

The parade will air on NBC on Nov. 26 from 9 a.m. to noon. The parade will also be available to live stream on Youtube and Verizon’s Twitter account.

Mario Lopez will host the event.

NYC is urging people to not gather live to watch the parade.

A Look at Parade Group Performers

Most of the key types of performances will still be a part of the Macy’s Parade. For example, there are performances happening from the cast of “Ain’t Too Proud- The Life and Times of The Temptations,” “Hamilton,” “Jagged Little Phil,” and “Mean Girls.”

Broadway stars are always a key part of the celebration that happens usually in a closed-off part of NYC. The Radio City Rockettes will be making their normal appearance in Herald Square.

In addition to Broadway and the Rockettes, there will also be several bands and other related groups playing. From an all-female samba drumline Fogo Azul NYC to The Lesbian & Gay Big Apple Corps Band to the Big Apple Circus.

According to AP News, many of the parades are being represented that were canceled due to the pandemic. This includes St. Patrick’s Day, the Mermaid Parade, the Puerto Rican Day Parade and NYC Pride March.

Individual Performers

Many people look forward to the possibility of their favorite artists performing. Luckily, this will still be happening in production. Except fewer people will be on the actual floats themselves.

Some of the artists performing are AJR, Lauren Alaina, Ally Brooks, Sofia Carson, Karol G, Tori Kelly, Patti LaBelle, Matthew Morrison, Keke Palmer, Brett Young, Dolly Parton, Pentatonix, and Bebe Rexha.

Balloons at Macy’s Parade

The ballons, while normally held up by nearly 100 handlers each, will have a new way of being showcased.

Now the balloons will have an anchor tether that connects to a vehicle. The vehicle team will be much smaller.

Some of the balloons making their visit once again are Diary of A Wimpy Kid, The Elf on the Shelf, Pillsbury Doughboy, Pikachu, and Spongebob SquarePants with Gary.

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