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Macy's Announced a Plan for the 2020 Thanksgiving Day Parade

Macy's Announced a Plan for the 2020 Thanksgiving Day Parade

This iconic Thanksgiving tradition kicks off the holidays each year, but this year will look a little different.

Macy’s and the City of New York recently announced the official lineup of the 94th annual Thanksgiving Day Parade Celebration, which will be reimagined for a safe, national, television only presentation. The parade will air nationwide on NBC Thursday, Nov. 26 from 9am-12pm, hosted by Hoda Kotb, Savannah Guthrie, and Al Roker. Macy's Parade's signature giant helium balloons, floats, street performers, clowns, and, of course, the arrival of the holiday season will be presented on this nationwide broadcast.

“New York City is always proud to join Macy's to ring in the holiday season with New Yorkers and viewers around the world. We’ve worked closely with the Macy’s team on a safe and creative plan this year, and we look forward to keeping this tradition going on Thanksgiving Day,” said New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Lineup

Though the parade looks different this year, it will still bring the pomp and circumstance we're used to, including Broadway performances from the casts of Hamilton, Jagged Little Pill, Mean Girls, and Ain't Too Proud; new balloons and floats; various performers; and a glimpse of the Radio City Rockettes. 

This year's parade will feature two new balloons—Red Titan from Ryan's World and Boss Baby—alongside many favorites, such as Snoopy, Elf on the Shelf, Smokey the Bear, and Ronald McDonald. Four new floats will also make an appearance: Tom & Jerry's Tourist Trap, Her Future is STEM-sational, Christmas in Town Square, and Big Turkey Spectacular. 

The lineup of performers include Dolly Parton, Bebe Rexha, Jordin Sparks, Keke Palmer, Leslie Odom Jr., New York City Ballet, Noah Cyrus, Patti LaBelle, and Pentatonix.

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Safety Protocol

To safely produce this iconic presentation during COVID-19, Macy's partnered with the City of New York to create a plan that would keep the tradition alive while keeping all those involved safe. Following the success of this year's reimagined Macy's 4th of July Fireworks, the Macy's team reviewed the Thanksgiving Day plans from years past to implemented enhanced health and safety practices that align with CDC guidelines and local and state government protocols. Macy's will make the following changes to execute the event safely:

  • Reduce the number of participants by approximately 75 percent and split the remaining participants over two days
  • Socially distance participants during all performances nad require face coverings and additional PPE
  • Shift to television-broadcast -only with staging for Parade elements focused in and around Herald Square
  • All participants will be 18 years or older
  • The traditional 2.5-mile Parade route will not be utilized this year
  • The Giant Balloon Inflation public event will not take place
  • The signature character balloons will be flown without the 80-100 handlers and instead will employ an innovative, specially rigged anchor vehicle framework of five speciality vehicles tested and approved by the NYCDOT and NYPD

“Macy’s believes in celebration and the joy of marking milestone moments with family and friends. The Macy’s Parade is our love letter and gift to the City of New York and the nation. 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. “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.”

Main photo by Kent Mille

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Katelin Walling

Author: Katelin Walling is the editorial director for NYMetroParents. She has been writing about parenting, health, finance, education, fun things to do in NYC and the surrounding area, and more for nearly 10 years. She also has 20+ years of child care experience and was a babysitter in NYC for 8 years. Katelin graduated from the University of Maine in 2011 and attended the NYU Summer Publishing Institute during the summer of 2011. When she’s not learning about the latest parenting trend or kid-friendly NYC attraction to write about, she can often be found reading, knitting (or general crafting), or whipping up a vegan treat—all with a cup of coffee nearby. See More

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