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Thanksgiving Day Parade
Photograph: Filip Wolak

The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is happening without the crowds this year

The massive event will instead be pre-recorded for TV.

Collier Sutter
Written by
Collier Sutter

The show will go on for the annual spectacle and NYC tradition that is the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade—but this year, it won’t be live.

In order to adjust to the times, there won’t be throngs of parade-loving New Yorkers cheering on the famous mix of character floats and giant balloons. Macy's announced today that the 94th annual event will be on TV only and there will be no crowds.

"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, in a statement. "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."

Macy’s will be pulling off the event by recording all elements of the parade over two days with a reduction in participants by nearly 75 percent. Instead of handlers carrying the famous character balloons, vehicles will tote them around. Any performers still involved will stay socially distanced and will wear face coverings.

The parade will also be taped in and around the Herald Square area, instead of the typical 2.5-mile route that usually proceeds from 77th Street all the way to Macy’s Herald Square on 34th Street.

"It will not be the same parade we're used to," Mayor Bill de Blasio said. "[Macy's is] reinventing the event for this moment in history. And you will be able to feel the spirit and the joy of that day."

That being said, Macy's will keep its signature giant helium balloons, floats, clowns, performers and good ol' Santa Claus.

The holiday event may feel different this year, but it’s not downright canceled like the beloved Village Halloween Parade.

The 94th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade will air on Thursday, November 26 from 9 am to noon on NBC or CBS.

No cable? Don't sweat it. You can catch the holiday event from any streaming service that broadcasts NBC or CBS, which includes from the CBS website and CBS All Access. You can also stream the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade from NBC and CBS’s apps on Amazon Fire, Apple TV, and Roku.


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