Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade returns as live event with COVID-19 modifications

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NEW YORK, NEW YORK – NOVEMBER 26: A view of the Tom the Turkey float at the 94th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade® on November 26, 2020 in New York City. The World-Famous Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade® kicks off the holiday season for millions of television viewers watching safely at home. (Photo by Eugene Gologursky/Getty Images for Macy’s Inc.)

NEW YORK CITY (NewsNation Now) — The floats and entertainment will return to New York City’s streets on Thanksgiving morning but with continued modifications while the country battles COVID-19.

Volunteers and staff will be required to be vaccinated, though Macy’s says “a few exceptions to this procedure may be made at the sole discretion of Macy’s and its medical consultant.”

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – NOVEMBER 26: A view of the 94th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade® on November 26, 2020 in New York City. The World-Famous Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade® kicks off the holiday season for millions of television viewers watching safely at home. (Photo by Eugene Gologursky/Getty Images for Macy’s Inc.)

All volunteers must wear face coverings and the overall number of participants will be decreased as well.

Crowds will be allowed to return contingent on the health policies of the City of New York.

In 2020, Macy’s held the annual parade, but did not allow any audience members and significantly decreased the number of performances and balloons. Many elements were also pre-produced.

The Thanksgiving Day Parade typically attracts millions of viewers at home and thousands of attendees in person. The 2021 parade on November 25 will be the company’s 95th.

“We are thrilled to welcome back in its full form the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, a world-renowned celebration that ushers in the magic of being in New York City during the holiday season,” said New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. “We applaud Macy’s work to creatively continue this beloved tradition last year and look forward to welcoming back Parade watchers to experience it safely, live and in person this November.”

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – NOVEMBER 26: Bebe Rexha atop the Jennie-O float at the 94th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade® on November 26, 2020 in New York City. The World-Famous Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade® kicks off the holiday season for millions of television viewers watching safely at home. (Photo by Eugene Gologursky/Getty Images for Macy’s Inc.)

Macy’s noted they are also considering bringing back crowds for the annual event the night before the parade where the balloons are blown up. Usually crowds come to watch the festival preparations as an event itself.

New York City is one of the major cities requiring proof of vaccination to attend performances, indoor dining or gyms. It has not been announced yet if vaccination proof would be required to attend the Thanksgiving Day Parade.

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