Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Going Virtual

This holiday season will be completely different from what everyone is used to. It’s no surprise that many events are being canceled due to the pandemic of COVID-19. Many companies have been making changes to ensure the safety of customers and employees during these times. As we are getting closer to the holidays, more changes are being made with live events.

During the holidays, it is normal to see families holding huge parties and gatherings to see relatives after a long year. Every year people fill the streets of New York to watch the performers, floats and balloons go by. The Macy’s Day Parade is an event that signals the start of the holiday season. However, the 94th Macy’s Day Parade will no longer be a live event because the number of people will make social distancing difficult. Mayor Bill DeBlasio announced on Monday, Sep. 14 that the parade will not be a live event.

According to CBS News,  DeBlasio said, "It will not be the same parade we're used to. It will be a different kind of event. They're reinventing the event for this moment in history." According to 6sqft, around 3.5 million people attend the parade annualy, while 50 million people watch from home. This year, it has been decided that the parade will continue but will be changed into a televised event. For some people, it was tradition to go with family and friends to watch the parade and have their Thanksgiving meal after. Now, they must celebrate at home and watch the event on TV.

turned-on tv with hand holding remote Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters from Unsplash Due to these changes, all the people who bought tickets to the event were refunded and tickets for the 2021 parade are currently on sale, which means that Macy’s has plans to have the event be live next year if the spread of coronavirus has been reduced. Instead of going the traditional parade route, the production will take place at Harold Square. Each year, the night before the parade, Macy’s employee’s accompanied by friends and family inflate the balloons together, but the annual parade balloon inflating has been canceled. The people that walk the balloons throughout the city will be replaced by specialty vehicles.

Also, 75 percent of performances have been removed to reduce the number of people. The performers that will be participating will be required to wear face coverings and practice social distancing. In addition to this, performers must be 18 years or older to participate. Performances that are done by local high school and college marching bands have been moved to the 2021 parade. Professional musicians and bands will be taking their place for the 2020 parade. The well-known Radio City Rockettes will not be performing at the Radio City Music Hall stage this year. This event will be split into a two-day production and will air on Thursday, Nov. 26 on NBC.

Most people don’t know what to expect this year, since the parade will not be as extravagant as the previous ones due to the reduction of performances. Macy’s has also decided to close their doors on Thursday and reopen on Black Friday. They hope to encourage shoppers to shop online instead of in-person to prevent the spread of coronavirus. This holiday season will be one we have never experienced before, but hopefully, everyone will stay safe.  

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