The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Is On!

Leigh Crandall
·4-min read

From Woman's Day

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and while you may celebrate a bit differently this year, many of the best Thanksgiving traditions (a Thanksgiving meal of your favorite dishes like mashed potatoes, roast turkey, and pumpkin pie, for example) will still carry on. One big tradition people across the world look forward to is the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, held annually in New York City. But, due to coronavirus safety measures, the 2020 parade (the 94th rendition!) will not follow its usual route through New York City. Instead, it will be a television-only 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," Macy's said in a statement.

“New York City is always proud to join Macy's to ring in the holiday season with New Yorkers and viewers around the world," said New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. "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.”

Read on to find out everything else we know about the Parade broadcast so far and be sure to check out our ideas for making your Thanksgiving a fun and memorable one, from easy Thanksgiving crafts for kids to the best Thanksgiving games to play on Turkey Day to the funniest Thanksgiving puns.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Photo credit: Ira L. Black - Corbis - Getty Images
Photo credit: Ira L. Black - Corbis - Getty Images

What is the history of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade?

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade has been presented every year since 1924 in New York City by the department store, located in Manhattan's Herald Square. The event has changed quite a bit since its beginning: The first parade included elephants and donkeys and was known as "Macy's Christmas Parade," though it was still held on Thanksgiving. In 1927 the first giant balloon, Felix the Cat, made its debut, and it moved from being played on local channels to being broadcast on NBC in 1952. Snoopy, the ballon that holds the record for most versions, was first flown in 1968.

Where does the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade take place?

Traditionally the parade makes its way along a 2.5-mile route that runs through Manhattan in New York City. This year performances will instead be staged solely in-and-around the Herald Square area of Midtown Manhattan. Macy’s traditional Giant Balloon Inflation public event on Wednesday will not take place.

Photo credit: EuropaNewswire/Gado - Getty Images
Photo credit: EuropaNewswire/Gado - Getty Images

How can I watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade this year?

The 94th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will air nationwide on NBC-TV, Thursday, November 26, 2020 from 9:00 a.m. to Noon, in all time zones. Ideal timing for a Thanksgiving brunch viewing!

What special measures are being implemented this year?

The 2020 parade will have 75% fewer participants than other years. Everyone will remain socially distanced during performances and be required to wear face coverings and additional personal protective equipment as needed. No participant in the Parade will be under 18 years of age and, instead of the traditional 80-100 giant balloon handlers, Macy's "will instead employ an innovative, specially rigged anchor vehicle framework of five specialty vehicles tested and approved by the NYCDOT and NYPD," says the statement.

Will there still be floats and giant balloons?

Absolutely! In fact, there will be several new ones. Look for the debut of a Boss Baby balloon and a giant inflatable Red Titan from Ryan's World. There will be four new floats including one from Lifetime depicting a charming town square at Christmastime.

Who will be performing at this year's parade?

Performers will include the one and only Dolly Parton, who will be singing "Holly Jolly Christmas" on the Cracker Barrel float! You can also expect music from Brett Young and Jordin Sparks, as well as dancing from members of the New York City Ballet and The Radio City Rockettes.

Photo credit: NBC - Getty Images
Photo credit: NBC - Getty Images

What time does the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade begin?

Every year, the parade begins at 9 a.m. and ends at 12 p.m. Ideal timing for a Thanksgiving brunch viewing!

Photo credit: NBC - Getty Images
Photo credit: NBC - Getty Images

How can I watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade this year?

NBC traditionally hosts the annual broadcast of the parade, and there will likely be a way to livestream the event, too. We'll have further details how and when to tune in closer to Thanksgiving!

Photo credit: NBC - Getty Images
Photo credit: NBC - Getty Images

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