Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Is Going Virtual
That tweet doesn't have a ton of info, so here are some of the specific changes that are coming, according to CBS:
- Reducing the overall number of participants by approximately 75%, and splitting the remaining participants over two days
- All participants will be appropriately socially distanced during performances and be required to wear face coverings and additional personal protective equipment depending on their role
- Shifting to a television-broadcast-only production with staging for Parade elements focused solely in/around the Herald Square area of Midtown Manhattan
- The traditional 2.5-mile Parade route will not be utilized this year
- No participant in the Parade will be under 18 years of age
- Previously selected regional High School and College Marching Bands performances will be deferred to the 2021 Macy’s Parade, with locally based professional marching and musical ensembles taking musical duties in the lineup
- Macy’s traditional Giant Balloon Inflation public event on Wednesday will not take place
- Macy’s signature giant character balloons will be flown without the traditional 80-100 handlers and instead employ an innovative, specially rigged anchor vehicle framework of five specialty vehicles tested and approved by the NYCDOT and NYPD
So I keep reading that article from CBS, and there is still a lot I'm confused about. If the parade route will not be used, and the participants are being spread over two days, what exactly are they doing? The city gets away with blocking off streets for a few hours because of the tradition, but are they going to block off streets for multiple days, just to pre-record something then air it on Thanksgiving? I know you can still have the performances from whatever Broadway show and trendy pop star, but what's the point of giant balloons if they aren't going down a parade route? If they plan to have vehicles fly the balloons, where are they flying? I'm all confused.
I get the need to eliminate the giant crowds that gather for parades like this, but it seems odd that they would still try to have performances and marching bands and flying balloons. Speaking of marching bands, what a drag this would be for seniors who won't be in school next year.
No matter what it looks like, the Macy's 2020 Thanksgiving Day Parade will be on NBC at 9am on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday November 26th.