The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Will Go On, But …

Photo from Macy’s Instagram

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Will Go On, But …

By Movieguide® Staff

While the pandemic has canceled nearly a year’s worth of traditions, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will go on — albeit differently than in years past. 

“It’s been a very interesting year, but our goal is to really deliver a wonderful, safe, entertaining event for everybody Thanksgiving morning. … Safety is our No. 1 priority, and we can’t do this without people in the city of New York and the state really supporting us and guiding us along the way,” Susan Tercero, the executive producer of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, told TODAY. “What we’re really encouraging (is) that everybody (stays) home. This is not something to watch for New Yorkers in the streets, it’s something to watch safely from their homes.”

According to TODAY, here are the significant changes: 

  • Floats and balloons will not travel in their traditional 2.5-mile loop around the city. However, this year’s parade will take place around Herald Square in Manhattan near Macy’s flagship location.
  • Balloons will not have human operators. Instead, specialized vehicles will guide the balloons. 
  • Parade officials cut the number of participants by 75%. Those who remain are from the New York tri-state area and will abide by safety regulations such as social distancing and masks. 
  • The parade is often an excellent opportunity for College and High School bands to showcase their talents. However, this year local professional marching bands will take their place. 
  • City officials requested that New Yorkers not gather around the Herald Square area to watch in person.

Another critical aspect of the parade for many households is the performances. Thankfully, the parade will host stars such as Dolly Parton, Pentatonix, Patti LaBelle, and more, according to TODAY. NBC’s TODAY hosts Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb and Al Roker will head coverage.  

According to the parade’s official website, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade will air nationwide on NBC on Thursday, Nov. 26, from 9 a.m. to noon in all time zones.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio added to the conversation: “Macy’s is reinventing the event for this moment in history. And you will be able to feel the spirit and the joy of that day on television, online — not a live parade, but something that will really give us that warmth and that great feeling we have on Thanksgiving Day.”