WebMD News Brief

COVID Drives Macy’s to Scrap Parade Crowds

coronavirus parade

Sept. 15, 2020 -- For nearly a century, crowds have lined the streets of New York City to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. This year, that won’t be the case.

For the first time ever, the parade will shift to a fully televised experience, to avoid the spread of COVID-19.

“We won’t be marching,” the company posted on Facebook. “But we’re reimagining it into a televised-only spectacle where all your fave balloons, floats & Santa Claus *safely* make their way to you.”

Macy’s says it will reduce the number of participants by about 75%, and face masks and social distancing will be required during all performances. The parade will also scrap its traditional 2½-mile route and will forgo its public balloon inflation event the day before.

While there will be no parade, participants will still be staged around Herald Square in Midtown Manhattan. Spectators will not be allowed, the company says.

To keep people a safe distance apart, the parade’s giant balloons will be anchored to “specially rigged” vehicles, instead of being flown by human handlers. Typically, each balloon is carried through the streets by anywhere from 80 to 100 people.

“While it will certainly look different in execution, this year’s Macy’s Parade celebration will once again serve its historical purpose -- to bring joy into the hearts of millions across the nation,” the executive producer of the parade, Susan Tercero, says in a news release.

The parade will air Thursday, Nov. 26, from 9 a.m. to noon on NBC.

WebMD Health News Brief Reviewed by Neha Pathak, MD on September 15, 2020

Sources

Facebook: Macy’s, Sept. 14, 2020.

Macy’s: “Macy’s And The City Of New York Announce Plan For Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Celebration.”

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