Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade to go virtual due to ongoing pandemic

Carla Harmon
September 15, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic won't completely deflate the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, but there will be some major changes this year.

The iconic Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade won't march through Manhattan this year as it traditionally has for decades, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Monday.

"While it will certainly look different in execution, this year's Macy's Parade celebration will once again serve its historical goal - to bring joy into the hearts of millions across the nation", Susan Tercero, executive producer of the parade, said in a statement. Performers, the list of which has yet to be announced, will be socially distanced from each other and must wear masks or other appropriate face coverings.


The event airs on NBC on Thursday, Nov. 26, from 9a.m. -noon in all time zones, Macy's said.

Spectators will not be allowed to watch the events unfold in person, and Macy's will not hold its annual balloon blow-up event in front of the Museum of Natural History, either. All participants will also have to be 18-years-old to take part in the parade. Performances by regional high school and college marching bands will be pushed to the 2021 parade, and local professional marching and musical groups will fill the gap for 2020.

The Parade, which dates back to 1924, has consistently been a lucrative branding opportunity for marketers, which deploy a mix of balloons and floats that can cost as much as $200,000.


"Not a live parade, but something that will really give us that warmth and that great feeling we have on Thanksgiving day", he said. "While it will certainly look different in execution, this year's Macy's Parade celebration will once again serve its historical objective - to bring joy into the hearts of millions across the nation".

Macy's similarly remade its traditional July Fourth fireworks show this year, swapping the big one-night spectacle for a series of smaller fireworks displays.


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