Thanksgiving Parade 2020 Will Be Unrecognizable: What To Expect

Gus Saltonstall
·2 min read

NEW YORK CITY — In a year where so much has changed, why would our traditions be any different? The coronavirus has left the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade almost unrecognizable.

Gone will be the massive crowds watching Spider-Man and SpongeBob SquarePants float from the Upper West Side down to Herald Square.

Instead, the 94th annual parade will fly its balloons just for a television audience and will be filmed over two days.

"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," said Susan Tercero, executive producer of Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

"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."

Here's what Macy's is changing for its Thanksgiving Parade in 2020:

  • To avoid gathering large crowds on the traditional 2.5-mile parade route, the procession will instead take place around the Herald Square flagship store on 34th Street.

  • Macy's is reducing the overall number of participants by 75 percent and splitting the remaining participants over a two-day period.

  • All participants will practice social distancing and wear face masks.

  • The annual giant balloon Inflation Celebration that traditionally draws crowds to the Upper West Side on Thanksgiving eve will not take place.

  • The usual student marching bands will not participate in the 2020 parade.

You can find the additional safety precautions on Macy's website.

How To Watch?

The annual spectacle will air Thanksgiving Day on NBC from 9 a.m. to noon, in all time zones.

Who Is Performing?

The parade will feature a plethora of pre-record live performances, including Dolly Parton, Jordan Sparks, Keke Palmer, the cast of Hamilton, the New York City Ballet, Patti Labelle, the Rockettes, Pentatonix, Tori Kelly, and more.

You can check out the full list of performers here.

What Are The Floats?

The Macy's Thanksgiving Parade is known for its floats and balloons more than anything else, and here's part of the lineup for 2020.

  • Red Titan From Ryan's World

  • The Boss Baby

  • Astronaut Snoopy

  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid

  • Hugg, Bjorn, Jojo, and Fleck

  • Paw Patrol

  • Pikachu

  • Pillsbury Doughboy

  • Ronald McDonald

  • Sinclair's Dino

  • Smokey Bear

  • SpongeBob SquarePants and Gary

  • The Elf on the Shelf

  • The Nutcracker

  • Trolls

You can check out the height and width for each of these balloons and floats, along with the other balloons in the parade on Macy's website.

This article originally appeared on the New York City Patch