The famous Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has been a staple of the holiday season since 1924. The parade featured artists from Ariana Grande to Kiss to Broadway performers in years past.
Usually, New Yorkers line the streets. There would be kids on their parents’ shoulders trying to see the floats. Everyone is smiling and bundled up in the crisp November morning to usher in the holiday season. Huge inflatables and floats are a spectacle not only on New York streets but for viewers with the yearly tradition to watch the parade.
This year, things are different. Very different. To have a massive parade in the middle of New York and create massive crowds would be potentially detrimental to New York’s COVID-19 rates, which have already been climbing the last few weeks. However, the show must go on, but only to an extent. Here’s how we’re managing the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in the disaster that is 2020.
What’s Changing in the Parade?
Usually, the massive floats of various people and characters are responsible for drawing a good portion of the crowds.
However, to prevent that this year this will not be happening. Instead of the normal 100 or so handlers to fly the balloons, the few that they have will have a new anchoring system.
“This year, to discourage onlookers from gathering, the public inflation won’t be happening, and the parade itself will be starting just blocks from the iconic department store on 34th street,” according to Spectrum News NY 1.
The celebration will have a smaller section of balloons, floats and performances in front of Macy’s instead of for a few miles.
The participation rate will also be dropping to 30% of what it typically is.
“To ensure a safe experience for all involved, we are not marching down the streets of Manhattan this year and instead will bring all the magic of this American tradition to you on television and online,” according to the Macy’s website.
The focus on the parade itself is now shifting to a television presentation for viewers at home.
Choosing to host this event will likely have tribulations and difficulties. The goal is that reducing staff and having performers and participants wear masks, safety will be a priority.
How Can I Watch at Home?
Like always, the show will be broadcast for everyone to see on Thanksgiving morning.
“This year the celebration will shift to a television only special presentation, showcasing the Macy’s Parade’s signature mix of giant character helium balloons, fantastic floats, street performers, clowns and heralding the arrival of the holiday season with the one-and-only Santa Claus,” according to a Macy’s official press release.
The event will be aired on NBC on Thursday, Nov. 26 from 9 a.m. to noon.
Despite changes in normal festivities in the parade, there will still be something to watch in the morning.
Who Are the Performers?
Macy’s has 20 different performers lined up to perform in this online version of the parade.
This includes country artists like Brett Young, Dolly Parton and Jimmie Allen.
It will also have a mix of other performers like Noah Cyrus, Bebe Rexha, Tori Kelly, Leslie Odom Jr., Pentatonix and New York City Ballet.
For a full list of performers and what floats they will appear on, as well as some of the inflatables, visit here.