On Monday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that although the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will not be canceled, it will not be held along the usual 2.5-mile parade route but instead just featured as a televised broadcast.
De Blasio stated, “It will be a different kind of event. They’re reinventing the event for this moment in history, and you’ll be able to feel the spirit and the joy of that day on television, online. Not a live parade but something that will really give us that warmth and that great feeling we have on Thanksgiving Day.” He added, “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.”
Macy’s announced in a press release:
For the first time in its more than 90-year history, the annual Macy’s Parade will be modified to safely bring the magic to more than 50 million viewers nationwide on Thanksgiving Day, while maintaining all of the spectacle and wonder of this cherished holiday tradition. This year the celebration will shift to a television only special presentation, showcasing the Macy’s Parade’s signature mix of giant character helium balloons, fantastic floats, street performers, clowns and heralding the arrival of the holiday season with the one-and-only Santa Claus.
Susan Tercero, executive producer of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, said, “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. 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.”
Macy announced some of the changes to the parade this year:
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, and shifting to a television-broadcast-only production with staging for Parade elements focused solely in/ around the Herald Square.
Macy’s previously stated, “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.”
In July, de Blasio suggested on CNN that gatherings such as normal parades and fairs would be restricted in his city, but Black Lives Matter protests would not be shut down.
De Blasio helped paint a Black Lives Matter mural in front of Trump Tower in Manhattan, and yelled, “We are saying Black Lives Matter in New York City and Black Lives Matter in the United States of America! Let’s show Donald Trump what he does not understand; let’s paint it right in front of his building for him!” Later, the mayor appeared on CNN with host Wolf Blitzer, who asked him, “What about protests? If people want to march down Fifth Avenue, are they going to be allowed to do so?”
De Blasio answered, “Look, Wolf, this is always an area of real sensitivity. If you’re just talking about health, we would always say, ‘Hey, folks, you know, stay home if you can.’ But we understand at this moment in history, people are talking about the need for historic changes. I mean, today, in New York City, recognizing the power and the meaning of the message Black Lives Matter, which we did in front of Trump Tower today, this is a historic moment of change; we have to respect that, but also say to people, the kinds of gatherings we’re used to – the parades, the fairs – we just can’t have that while we’re focusing on health right now.”