The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is going ahead in the United States despite the coronavirus pandemic, but it will take place as per the new normal.
Thanksgiving will be a lot different this year as social distancing measures need to be followed amid the COVID-19 crisis. The Americans can still count on the traditional Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade from Manhattan to Herald Square, but the event will be held on a smaller scale.
The company had previously said that the 94th edition of the iconic parade will be "re-imagined," similar to the way the Macy's Fourth of July Fireworks were done over the summer. Plans for this year's festivities have now been finalised and as per the new normal, this event will also be enjoyed virtually instead of with a live audience.
"We will still be doing a live parade on Thanksgiving Day, but it's going to be shortened and it's going to be something that's only for the viewers at home," the parade's executive producer Susan Tercero said, adding "safety is our number one priority."
Though the audience and media will be missing from the celebrations, the parade will still feature the traditional giant character balloons, animated floats, incredible street performances, musical acts, and Santa Claus. Performances will still be held right near Macy's iconic flagship store on 34th street.
However, the number of people involved in the actual parade has also been reduced by a whopping 75 percent. Those who continue to be involved will also have to follow social distancing guidelines and wear precautionary face masks, reports abc7Ny.
To reduce the number of people involved in the parade, the company has decided to ditch the usual tradition of dozens of balloon handlers carrying trademark helium balloons. Instead, they will be tethered to vehicles. The parade will consist of 18 big balloons and 35 floats.
One thing that the event has not ditched is the star power. Several A-list celebrities including Dolly Parton, Bebe Rexha, Jordin Sparks, Noah Cyrus, Keke Palmer, and Brett Young will perform some of their biggest hits at the event. Other performers are Tori Kelly, Sofia Carson, Sebastián Yatra, Pentatonix, Patti LaBelle, Leslie Odom Jr., Lauren Alaina, Karol G, Jimmie Allen, Ella Mai, CNCO, and Camille Schrier.
This year's Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade kicks off at 9 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 26. It will be televised by NBC.
Susan Tercero said about the partially virtual celebrations: "For nearly 100 years, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade has served as a milestone celebration that brings joy to millions of families nationwide and kicks off the holidays with unparalleled spectacle. Our safely reimagined broadcast will continue that cherished tradition, as viewers nationwide celebrate together bringing a much-needed sense of normalcy to our lives."