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The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade will look very different this year

The big event has been reimagined for our unique times—here's how

Shaye Weaver
Written by
Shaye Weaver

The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade has ushered in the holiday season for 96 years—and this year is no different.

America's most beloved parade will still go forward on Thursday morning (9am-noon) despite a very different reality. However—like most things this very difficult year—it'll take a new form. Instead of a parade for thousands on the streets of New York, it is being re-made for television, specifically for NBC's broadcast.

This means that there is no need for hundreds of balloon handlers this time. Balloons will be carried by 25 people (per balloon) who'll share the duty with utility vehicles across just one block on 34th Street (in front of Macy's Herald Square) instead of across two miles, according to The New York Times.

RECOMMENDED: The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade 2020 guide

There will be two new balloons this year—"Boss Baby" and the Red Titan from the YouTube series, "Ryan’s World."

There won't be any live marching bands, but pre-taped bands, including New York Fire Department’s Emerald Society band and the Lesbian & Gay Big Apple Corps Marching Band, will perform.

We'll also see pre-taped Broadway performances (arguably one of the best parts of the whole shebang). The following will be broadcast: Mean GirlsAin't Too Proud—The Life and Times of the Temptations, Hamilton and Jagged Little Pill. Additionally, Ashley Bouder, a New York City Ballet principal dancer, will perform as the pink tutu-ed Sugarplum Fairy, and 18 Rockettes from Radio City Music Hall will perform a socially-distanced number sans kickline, The Times notes.

Patti LaBelle, Bebe Rexha, The Goo Goo Dolls, (patron saint) Dolly Parton, Jordin Sparks, Pentatonix, will also perform. New this year: performers from other canceled parades, including the West Indian Day Parade, The Puerto Rican Day Parade, the Pride Parade, the St. Patrick's Day Parade and the Mermaid Parade will also make pre-recorded appearances.

Thankfully, Santa Claus will close out the parade as in years past. 

So, how do you watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade this year?

NBC will be broadcasting it, but you can watch a livestream of the celebration on, on Verizon’s Twitter account and on Our fave "Saved By the Bell" alum Mario Lopez will be hosting.

And when the parade is over and the turkey is all gone, check out these fun things to do on Thanksgiving weekend.

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