The Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade will be restricted to one block this year
- The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade — in its 94th year — will be even more TV-centric this year.
- The actual parade will be limited to a one block stretch near Herald Square in Manhattan and closed to the public.
- While there will still be balloons, they will be pulled by vehicles and not people.
- Performances, including those by Broadway stars, will be pre-recorded.
- Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.
This year's famed Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade won't be the miles-long extravaganza we're used to, but there will still be a celebration.
Some of New York City's biggest stars — the 60-foot helium filled cartoon characters who grace American TV screens while pies are burning — will be limited to a block-long journey this year. There won't be an in-person audience, The New York Times reported.
The event, which is in its 94th year, will be aired on NBC and Telemundo.
"We still wanted to deliver what people expect on a Thanksgiving morning," Susan Tercero, the event's executive producer, told The New York Times. "But it's going to look like a parade during Covid times: We're going to have people in masks and we're going to be socially distanced."
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced in September that this year's parade will be TV-only.
The usual 2.5-mile route will not be used. Instead, all performances will take place in the Herald Square area of Manhattan, where Macy's flagship store is located, Insider previously reported.
The streets around the parade route will be closed to the public so there won't be an opportunity for street viewing, The Times reported.
The annual Thanksgiving parade usually has between 8,000 and 10,000 people walking the route, but this year there will only be about 1,500, Susan Tercero, the event's executive producer, told The Times.
Those working the event can't come from outside the tri-state area and have to be over 18. The massive balloons will not be pulled by human handlers, but rather utility vehicles, Tercero told the Times.
Broadway has been shuttered since March due to the coronavirus pandemic, but those who tune into this year's parade will get a chance to see the casts of Hamilton, Mean Girls, Jagged Little Pill, Ain't Too Proud, and The Life and the Times of the Temptations perform. Their actual acts will be pre-recorded, The Daily Mail reported.
Other performers include Lauren Alaina, Jimmie Allen and Noah Cyrus, Ally Brooke, Sofia Carson, CNCO, Jimmy Fallon and The Roots, Karol G, Tori Kelly, Patti LaBelle, Ella Mai, Miss America 2020 Camille Schrier, the cast and Muppets of Sesame Street, Leslie Odom Jr., Keke Palmer, Dolly Parton, Pentatonix, Bebe Rexha, Jordin Sparks, Sebastián Yatra, and Brett Young.
Thanksgiving isn't the only New York City tradition that will be different in the coming months.
The city will continue to count down to the New Year on December 31, but access to Times Square will be limited.
There will be a new and enhanced online options, including a virtual Times Square available by app, that will allow people to celebrate from home, organizers said in a statement.
"One thing that will never change is the ticking of time and the arrival of a New Year at midnight on December 31st," said Tim Tompkins, President of the Times Square Alliance, said in a statement. "But this year there will be significantly new and enhanced virtual, visual and digital offerings to complement whatever limited live entertainment or experiences — still in development — will take place in Times Square."
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