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Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade ‘re-imagined’ as television-only event this year

A Pikachu balloon makes its way down New York's Sixth Avenue during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, Thursday, Nov. 28, 2019, in New York.
A Pikachu balloon makes its way down New York's Sixth Avenue during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, Thursday, Nov. 28, 2019, in New York.(AP Photo/Jeenah Moon)
Published: Sep. 14, 2020 at 12:57 PM CDT
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(Gray News) - The Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade is going to look different this year.

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the 94th version of the iconic annual parade will be a television-only special presentation this year, the retailer and the city of New York announced Monday.

This means no crowds admiring as huge character balloons float in the sky along the parade route and no high school or college marching bands. Bands who were chosen to participate this year will be invited for the 2021 parade.

The balloons will still fly, but “instead employ an innovative, specially rigged anchor vehicle framework of five specialty vehicles,” the company announced.

“Macy’s believes in celebration and the joy of marking milestone moments with family and friends. The Macy’s Parade is our love letter and gift to the City of New York and the nation. Under the unique challenges of these unparalleled times, we felt it was important to continue this cherished holiday tradition that has been the opening act to the holiday season for generations of families,” said Susan Tercero, executive producer of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

The number of participants this year will be reduced by 75 percent, and those participants will be split over two days. All participants will adhere to social distancing, face coverings and other personal protection as appropriate.

Also, no one younger than age 18 will be participating in this year’s parade.

The parade elements will be staged around the Herald Square area of Midtown Manhattan. The TV presentation will air on NBC the day after Thanksgiving.

“New York City is always proud to join Macy’s to ring in the holiday season with New Yorkers and viewers around the world. We’ve worked closely with the Macy’s team on a safe and creative plan this year, and we look forward to keeping this tradition going on Thanksgiving Day,” said New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.

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