Macy’s Will Hold Their Annual Thanksgiving Parade For TV Exclusively

Macy’s and New York City are trying to keep the holiday spirit alive as safely as possible this year by making the parade available for everyone at home.

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The holiday season will look a lot different this year thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic, however, just because we’re all stuck at home that doesn’t mean we can’t still celebrate and feel that holiday spirit in a safe and quarantined manner. Macy’s has adopted this same attitude as they made the announcement that their annual Thanksgiving Day Parade will still go on this year in a TV exclusive event for families to enjoy at home. 

NBC will begin airing the 2020 parade from 9 a.m to noon in all time zones this Thursday, as always, and Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb, and Al Roker will take on their traditional roles as hosts. Macy’s has partnered with New York City officials to safely produce this year’s parade and ensure that all workers remain safe and Covid-free. 

Susan Tercero, the executive producer of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, recently released a statement regarding the parade and assuring fans that it would still feature all of the “signature character balloons, dazzling animated floats, whimsical clowns, world-class performances, and of course the arrival of Santa Claus,” that audiences have come to expect from the parade every year. The parade itself has also been shortened from its normal 2.5 mile route through Manhattan, and will instead focus on the last section of the march.

“While it will may look different in execution, we invite everyone to tune in and experience our incredible celebration on television”

Tercero explained that viewers can expect to see all the traditional floats that they’re used to, as well as floats and performances, there will just be a lot less people on our screens. The finale which of course involves the father of Christmas, Santa Claus himself, to appear and close out the Thanksgiving celebration and truly ring in the start of the holiday season will also go on as usual. 

The biggest priority is obviously safety, so things like the annual Macy’s giant balloon inflation celebration won’t be occurring, and a reduced amount of staff have been hired for carrying the balloons and accompanying the floats down the route. In the past it has taken up to 100 people to fly the huge balloons throughout the city, so for some of the larger displays the New York Police Department as well as the New York City Department of Transportation have special rigged an anchor vehicle framework that can help carry the weight of the balloons. 

Additional participants and workers will obviously be required to wear masks and other personal protective equipment. All workers are also from the tri-state area in order to accommodate the US state restrictions and quarantine rules. All participants will also be 18 years or older and will be tested prior to the actual parade. Macy’s claims it’s working with a nationally renowned medical expert to produce the event. 

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“We’re excited that the treasured tradition, which many consider a standard part of the holiday, can easily be enjoyed from afar.”

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Earlier this month Macy’s released the 2020 lineup of balloons, floats, and performances as they normally would. The newest members joining the balloon line-up this year include the Boss Baby, and Red Titan from “Ryan’s World.” Macy’s also announced two new floats; the Big Turkey Spectacular float and Lifetime’s Christmas in Time Square float. 

Giant balloon veterans such as Astronaut Snoopy, Elves Hugg, Pikachu, Spongebob, and more will all be making their traditional appearances as well. Manny Bass is a longtime Parade designer that has worked on a ton of the parade’s in the past and this year will be no different. Bass will be giving a makeover to the parade’s oldest float still in use, Rocking Horse. 

Balloons initially appeared in the Thanksgiving Day Parade back in 1927, and prior to that animals from the Central Park Zoo would walk the streets of Manhattan. Last year the parade had to make some adjustments due to uncontrollable circumstances as well when windy weather forced many of the balloons to be held closer to the ground or grounded. 

Bebe Rexha, Brett Young, CNCO and Karol G will ride the floats and perform as musical guests this year, and Dolly Parton, a Covid-19 vaccine sponsor, will also be joining the parade on the Cracker Barrel float. The broadcast will also feature several pre-recorded Broadway show performances, featuring numbers from “Hamilton,” “Ain’t Too Proud,” “Jagged Little Pill,” and “Mean Girls.”