COVID-19 has thrown a wrench at one of the biggest holiday traditions in the US: the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. This afternoon, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the beloved holiday event will go virtual this year due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
“[The parade isn’t] a live parade, but something that will really give us that warmth and that great feeling we have on Thanksgiving day,” said the mayor. “It will not be the same parade we’re used to. It will be a different kind of event. They’re reinventing the event for this moment in history, and you’ll be able to feel the spirit and the joy of that day on television, online.”
The 2020 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will ditch the usual 2.5-mile-long route through Manhattan for a much smaller path. As such, there will only be “five specialty vehicles” anchoring the signature balloon characters that float between the skyscrapers. Participants will be reduced by 75%, mandated to wear face coverings and other PPE, and must abide by social distancing measures. Anyone involved in the parade must be over the age of 18 as well.
“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,” a representative for Macy’s told Deadline.
The 94th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will air nationwide on NBC on November 26th from 9:00 a.m. to noon in all time zones. Those without a TV can livestream the event on NBC’s website.
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