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2020 Macy's Thanksgiving Parade gets a makeover due to the pandemic, will take place on TV only

No parade route, balloons to be anchored to cars
2020 Macy's Thanksgiving Parade gets a makeover due to the pandemic, will take place on TV only
Posted at 9:42 AM, Sep 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-14 12:42:05-04

NEW YORK — 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.

In a statement, Macy's said that while it won't be able to utilize its traditional parade route, the event will still be broadcast nationwide on Thanksgiving morning. The made-for-TV special will showcase all the balloons, floats and performances of the parade from Herald Square in Manhattan, and will still be capped off with an appearance by Santa Claus.

While the country continues to grapple with the coronavirus pandemic, de Blasio said large gatherings like parades still have to wait.

"It will not be the same parade we're used to," the mayor said. "It will be a different kind of event. They're reinventing the event for this moment in history."

De Blasio assured that people will still be able to feel "the spirit and joy" of the event that day both on television and online.

"Not a live parade, but something that will really give us that warmth and that great feeling we have on Thanksgiving day," he said.

Macy's and the city previously worked to reinvent their iconic Fourth of July fireworks display over this past summer.

Other changes to the parade include:

  • Balloons anchored to vehicles instead of held by attendants
  • No participants under 18 years old
  • No appearances by high school or college bands. All bands invited to participate in 2020 will be invited back in 2021.
  • No public events for inflation of balloons.

This story was originally published by Mark Sundstrom on WPIX in New York.