Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Going Virtual, Crowdless for 2020

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The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will be virtual this year, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Monday (September 14).

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is still not safe for New York to hold large gatherings, so for the first time ever the holiday event will not be live but pre-taped and reworked for viewers to watch on television and online on Thanksgiving morning.

“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, and you’ll be able to feel the spirit and the joy of that day on television, online."

For decades the event has been televised with unforgettable floats, larger-than-life balloons, and performances from rising pop acts, Broadway casts, high school bands and dance teams, staged in front of Macy’s Herald Square store.

The department store says the 94th edition of the parade on November 26 will be “reimagined” in a manner similar to its Fourth of July fireworks display, which was replaced this year by a week of smaller displays, including five-minute fireworks shows in each borough and a live grand finale on July 4 atop the Empire State Building.

De Blasio said Macy’s will be revealing more details of the plan later today.

The Thanksgiving parade is just the latest iconic New York City event impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The city’s Greenwich Village Halloween Parade was officially canceled last week.