Will Macy’s 2020 Thanksgiving Day Parade Participants Wear Face Masks?

by Josh Lanier

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will look very different this year, but organizers said they won’t be deterred. The parade will be a TV-only event in 2020. That means the parade route, which is normally crowded with millions of people, will be empty. No crowds are allowed this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

More than that, organizers are requiring participants marching in the parade to wear face masks. HanesBrands is providing the masks, which feature smiling faces on them, The Business Journals said.

“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.”

To keep safety at the forefront, organizers have had to make several major changes. That includes pre-taping many of the performances and removing the army of volunteers that pull along the giant balloons. Vehicles will drag them through the New York streets this year with a small cadre of people walking along with them.

Fans can expect to see the normal marching bands and a performance from the Rockettes. But don’t expect them to do a kickline. They chose their performance specifically because it allows the dancers to stay apart, the New York Times said.

New York considered canceling the parade for the first time in its 96 year history. But organizers and city officials saw the value in the tradition. They decided it could go forward as long as there were changes.

“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.

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Feature Big 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.