The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade is a beloved tradition that marks the official start of the Christmas season, and while the annual event will continue, it will look a bit different.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the department store announced modifications to the time-honored event. For the first time in its 94-year history, the parade will be a television only experience. This is to prevent millions of spectators from gathering in person in New York City. The parade route will not embark on the typical 2.5-mile course, but rather, will be staged at the traditional endpoint of the parade in Herald Square, in front of the iconic Macy’s store in Manhattan.
There will be an estimated 75% fewer participants. No one under the age of 18 will be allowed to participate, which means high school and college bands will not be allowed to perform. Executives said that in order to socially distance participants, portions of the nationwide broadcast will be prerecorded but the majority of the show will be live.
What will remain the same? Viewers at home will still enjoy the giant helium character balloons, decked out floats and yes Virginia, there will be a Santa Claus. However, the balloons will be rolled through on streetcars and not by the traditional handlers.
While there will be many changes to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, it will still provide great memories for families to enjoy on Thanksgiving morning.
Watch the Macy’s Parade 2020 on Thursday, November 26, from 9am to noon on NBC.
Photo: Gary Hershorn/Getty Images