Macy's plans smaller but camera-ready Thanksgiving parade

Brenda Watkins
September 15, 2020

"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", the statement said.

The 94th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade will take place this year, in a modified edition that will only be viewable on television and online. "It will be a different kind of event", Mayor de Blasio says (quote via PopCrush).

This year's parade will forego its normal 2.5 mile route from the Upper West Side to Herald Square, and will instead contain all events inside Herald Square. "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". Participants will practice social distancing during performances and wear face coverings, as well as supplementary Personal Protective Equipment based on their part in the spectacle.

"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 Mayor Bill de Blasio.

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In the year of COVID-19, the spectacle that has been a jaw-dropping delight for children for almost a century will prohibit participation by anyone under 18 years of age, Macy's announced.

The Parade, which dates back to 1924, has consistently been a lucrative branding opportunity for marketers, which deploy a mix of balloons and floats that can cost as much as $200,000.

"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", Susan Tercero, executive producer of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, said in a prepared statement.

The plan uses Macy's Fourth of July fireworks as a model for how to proceed without the usual crowds.

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