2020 has been a crazy year for more reasons than one, and as the holiday season rolls around, a lot of people just want a little bit of normalcy to bring some light into our lives. The COVID-19 pandemic is still happening, so Thanksgiving will be a lot different this year, but one thing we can still count on is millions of Americans tuning into the Macy‘s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
“We will still be doing a live parade on Thanksgiving Day, but it‘s going to be shortened and it’s going to be something that’s only for the viewers at home,” the parade’s executive producer Susan Tercero said in a statement about this year’s festivities.
What that means for fans of the parade at home may be no different, but unlike years past, there will be no crowds lining the streets of Manhattan to watch live as marching bands, floats, and balloons make their way to Herald Square.
Instead of people gathering in the streets, the performances we all look forward to every year will take still place on television, right near Macy’s iconic flagship store on 34th street. Plus, the people in charge of the parade will be utilizing every precaution necessary to stop the spread of the virus.
“Safety is our number one priority,” Tercero assures fans.
So, not only will there be no fans there to watch the performances live, but that also means the number of people involved in the actual parade has been cut by a whopping 75 percent. Plus, there will be masks and social distancing guidelines in place for everyone involved.
Another big change comes into play with the iconic balloon floats the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is known for, which will also be different this time around. The trademark helium balloons will be tethered to vehicles this year, instead of being walked by dozens of balloon handlers, to make things safer for everyone involved.
Luckily though, for the millions of viewers at home, it will still be the parade they’ve seen for decades, providing a familiar experience during a year in which we have all had to navigate unfamiliar territory.
As always, there will be big stars in attendance to perform some of their biggest hits, including Dolly Parton, Bebe Rexha, Jordin Sparks, Tori Kelly, Sofia Carson, Sebastián Yatra, Pentatonix, Patti LaBelle, Noah Cyrus, Leslie Odom Jr., Lauren Alaina, Keke Palmer, Karol G, Jimmie Allen, Ella Mai, CNCO, Camille Schrier, and Brett Young. The parade will consist of 18 big balloons and 35 floats.
This year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade kicks off at 9 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday November 26.