Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade to Go Virtual During Pandemic

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Claire Shaffer
·2 min read
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The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will go virtual this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio announced previously.

What’s Different This Year?

This year, the holiday event will abandon its traditional 2.5-mile parade route through Manhattan, instead opting for a much smaller ceremony that will employ “five specialty vehicles” to anchor the parade’s signature balloon characters. The “parade” will glide down only one city block on 34th Street, near the flagship Macy’s department store.

Who Will Perform?

Broadway performers, who have not been able to hold their usual live shows during the pandemic, will be featured on the parade’s lineup, with the casts of Hamilton, Mean Girls, Jagged Little Pill, and Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations all set to appear in pre-taped performances. Additional performers for the event include Dolly Parton, Karol G, Patti LaBelle, Bebe Rexha, Noah Cyrus, Jordin Sparks, CNCO, Keke Palmer, Brett Young, Ella Mai, Lauren Alaina, the New York City Ballet and more.

“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 said in a statement (via Deadline).

Macy’s also provided additional details and Covid-19 safety guidelines for the event, stating that the overall number of participants will be reduced by approximately 75% and that all participants will be appropriately socially distanced during performances while wearing face coverings and other PPE. Additionally, no participants in the parade this year will be under 18 years of age, with the previously selected regional high school and college marching band performances being deferred to the 2021 Macy’s Parade.

Is It Live?

In his general statement, Mayor de Blasio added that the parade will not be “a live parade, but something that will really give us that warmth and that great feeling we have on Thanksgiving day. 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.”

What Time Does It Start?

The 94th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will air nationwide on NBC-TV, Thursday, November 26th from 9:00 a.m. to noon in all time zones.

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