The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Will Go on, but Without Spectators

Screenshot via Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade in New York City | USA TODAY on YouTube

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Will Go on, but Without Spectators

By Allyson Vannatta, Senior Writer

For the first time in history, the iconic Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will be for television only.

The parade became an annual tradition 94 years ago and is the unofficial kick-off to the holiday season for many.

The parade’s executive producer, Susan Tercero, acknowledged how important it is to make the parade happen, even with modifications, in a year where millions need joy.

“Under the unique challenges of these unparalleled times, we felt it was important to continue this cherished holiday tradition that has been the opening act to the holiday season for generations of families. While it 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.”

The biggest change audiences can expect is that the parade won’t be marching down the chilly streets of New York City. CBS News was told this decision was made to “Avoid gathering millions of spectators in person.”

Instead, the parade will be staged in Herald Square, where the Macy’s store is located in Manhattan. This spot also marks the traditional end of the parade.

But don’t worry, the balloons, and of course Santa Claus himself, will still be in the parade.

The news outlet was told that some portions of the parade will be recorded beforehand in an attempt to practice social distancing. But organizers reassured the public that most of the show will be live for viewers to watch.

The parade is also cutting back on the number of participants. This year, the number will be reduced by 75 percent and the people performing will be spread over two days.

Local marching bands and musical groups will also be used this year instead of bringing in college and high school bands from around the country.

Everyone participating will be required to adhere to social distancing guidelines, wearing masks and other Personal Protective Equipment during their performances, according to CBS News.

In a press conference on Monday, New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio said, “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.”