Thanksgiving Spectacular in a Pandemic

Amanda Grossman, Sports Editor

This year has had a lot of changes, and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade was not exempt from them. While millions of people wake up on Thanksgiving Day to watch this NYC parade, it will look very different this year. There have been many changes made to make the parade safer due to COVID-19. 


One of the biggest changes is that there will be no live audience. Usually, the parade begins on Central Park West and marches to the front of Macy’s flagship store, stopping to perform in Herald Square. Fans usually can line the route and watch the parade as it makes its way down. This year, however, the 2.5 mile route will be abandoned, and everything will be filmed in front of Macy’s. The times of the performances are a secret to stop crowds from forming to watch. The parade will still be streamed on TV, Thanksgiving morning. 


This year, the parade is cutting down on participants, with 75% of usual participants being cut. This led to no one under the age of 18 being allowed to participate. That means no marching bands, cheerleaders, dancers, clowns, or kids on floats. Also, the balloons will be anchored to cars instead of the usual balloon handlers. This is done to further limit the amount of participants in the parade. While this has been done for everyone’s safety, it is still upsetting to see something so iconic be changed. 


Freshman Ethan Grossman, who would have participated in his 8th parade this year, says, “I’m disappointed because the parade has become a family tradition. While I can’t participate in this year’s parade, I am looking forward to the 2021 parade.” It’s safe to say we can’t wait for next year’s parade. 


There are a few final changes that were made for this COVID experience. On Thanksgiving Eve, there is usually a balloon inflation that takes place in Central Park for the general public to attend. Of course, with COVID, this event will be skipped this year. All participants also must wear face masks the entire time. This comes at a shock to no one.


While this year’s parade will look very different, it will also bring a sense of normalcy to everyone. The 2020 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will be streamed on NBC Thanksgiving morning, starting at 9:00am. Don’t miss it.