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Macy’s Announces Dramatically Different Thanksgiving Day Parade

September 15, 2020 by Dan McCue

NEW YORK, N.Y. – Macy’s and the City of New York on Monday announced that the annual Thanksgiving Day parade will be dramatically different this year as a result of ongoing concerns over the coronavirus pandemic.

Instead of holding a parade extending from the city’s Central Park to Herald Square in Midtown Manhattan, this year’s event will be a television-only presentation, showcasing a mix of the parade’s signature giant helium balloons, floats, performers and clowns heralding the arrival of the holiday season.

“New York City is always proud to join Macy’s to ring in the holiday season with New Yorkers and viewers around the world,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a written statement.

“We’ve worked closely with the Macy’s team on a safe and creative plan this year, and we look forward to keeping this tradition going on Thanksgiving Day,” he said.

Susan Tercero, executive producer of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, added that while the parade will certainly look different in execution, “This year’s Macy’s Parade celebration will once again serve its historical purpose – to bring joy into the hearts of millions across the nation.”

For 94 years, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has been synonymous with the official start of the holiday season in the United States.

The changes for this year’s parade include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Reducing the overall number of participants by approximately 75%, and splitting the remaining participants over two days;
  • All participants will be appropriately socially distanced during performances and be required to wear face coverings and additional personal protective equipment depending in their role;
  • Shifting to a television-broadcast-only production with staging for parade elements focused solely in/ around the Herald Square area of Midtown Manhattan;
  • The traditional 2.5-mile Parade route will not be utilized this year;
  • Previously selected regional High School and College Marching Bands performances will be deferred to the 2021 Macy’s Parade, with locally based professional marching and musical ensembles taking musical duties in the lineup;
  • Macy’s traditional giant balloon Inflation public event on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving will not take place;
  • Finally, Macy’s signature giant character balloons will be flown without the traditional 80-100 handlers and instead employ a specially rigged anchor vehicle framework of five specialty vehicles tested and approved by the NYCDOT and NYPD.
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