Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade announces changes due to COVID-19

National News

NEW YORK CITY, (WTAJ) — Macy’s and the City of New York announced changes and the details of their plans for the safe production of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade celebration.

For the first time in its more than 90-year history, the annual Macy’s Parade will be modified to safely bring the magic to more than 50 million viewers nationwide on Thanksgiving Day. 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 the arrival of the holiday season with the one-and-only Santa Claus.

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

Following the success of this summer’s reimagined Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks® show, the Macy’s team reviewed every area of the Thanksgiving Day playbook to put in place enhanced health and safety practices that align with CDC guidelines, as well as local and state government protocols.

As part of Macy’s comprehensive health and wellness plan a number of changes will be implemented in order to execute this event safely. These changes 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 on 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
  • No participant in the Parade will be under 18 years of age
  • 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 Wednesday will not take place
  • Macy’s signature giant character balloons will be flown without the traditional 80-100 handlers and instead employ an innovative, specially rigged anchor vehicle framework of five specialty vehicles tested and approved by the NYCDOT and NYPD

The safety of participants and spectators is Macy’s number one priority and this year’s 94th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade celebration will be produced solely as a television event allowing millions of New Yorkers and the nation to safely experience it from the comforts of home.

The 94th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will air nationwide on Thursday, November 26, 2020, from 9:00 a.m. to Noon.

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