2020 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade to go virtual

The annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is going virtual amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to Mayor Bill de Blasio.
The mayor made the announcement during his daily briefing.
On its website, Macy's released a statement that says in part, "For more than 90 years, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has kicked off the holiday season with its signature entertainment spectacle, making it one of the world’s most beloved events. Following our successful, safe and innovative production of Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks, it is our intention to similarly reimagine Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade this November."
As part of Macy’s comprehensive health and wellness plan a number of changes will be implemented in order to execute this event safely. These changes include, but are not limited to the following:
• 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.
“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.
The 94th annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will air nationwide on NBC, Thursday, Nov. 26 from 9 a.m. to noon.