Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade to Proceed With No Live Spectators: ‘Safety is Our Number 1 Priority’

by Josh Lanier
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Organizers of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade said they are adapting to the times and will not close as so many other holiday traditions have been canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The parade will go on as it has since 1924, but this year will look very different. Normally 3.5 million people would crowd the 2.5-mile parade route. But this year there will be no live audience. There will be several pre-taped performances. And an army of volunteers won’t pull along the giant balloons. Vehicles will drag them through the New York streets this year.

“Safety is our No. 1 priority,” Susan Tercero, the executive producer of the parade, told Today. “… It’s been a very interesting year, but our goal is to deliver a wonderful, safe, entertaining event Thanksgiving morning.”

Tercero said the parade will take advantage of the broadcast-only event to add some television flair that it hasn’t done before. She added that it was important to keep traditions alive even in difficult times.

“We can look at a parade and say, oh, it’s just a parade, but I think it’s more than, and that’s why I think we’re so passionate this year of keeping the tradition alive,” Wesley Whatley, creative producer of the parade, told NY1.

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade airs on NBC on Thanksgiving at 9 a.m. to noon. NBC’s Al Roker, Savannah Guthrie, and Hoda Kotb will host.

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Updates its Performances

Keeping the event going hasn’t been easy. It’s required massive amounts of pre-production planning on top of the normal workload that goes into the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. That includes pre-filming some of the performances from Broadway shows such as Hamilton, Mean Girls, Ain’t Too Proud, and Jagged Little Pill.

The parade will also feature several live performances from Dolly Parton, Jordan Sparks, the New York City Ballet, to Noah Cyrus. Find a full list of the performances here.

“The fact that we are able to do this is incredible. It’s remarkable. And we know that we’re going to pull it off and we’re going to keep pulling it off and pushing it forward every year hereafter,” said Rick Pomer, creative director of the parade, told NY1.

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