Macy Thanksgiving Day Parade 2020

April 1, 2021
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The Show Must Go On!

A holiday tradition for nearly 100 years, the 2020 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will march into the history books during the COVID-19 pandemic.


The First Parade

  • The first Macy’s parade was a Christmas Parade in 1924. 10,000 spectators came out for the event.
  • Macy’s employees asked the company to have a parade for giving thanks and celebrating the coming of Christmas.
  • It was six miles long, had horses pulling floats, and featured animals from the Central Park Zoo. There were elephants, tigers, camels — and Santa Claus made a special appearance.

History of the Parade

  • In 1927, balloons replaced live animals (one report says zoo animals scared children along the path). One of the first balloons? A 60-foot dinosaur.
  • The parade has only missed 3 years in its 96-year history. Macy’s suspended the parade during WWII (1942-1944) and donated rubber supplies from balloons to the military.
  • First broadcast via radio; televised nationally after WWII.

The 2020 Parade

  • The parade, which normally sees over 3 million spectators along its 2.5-mile parade route, will take place in front of Macy’s famous 34th Street store — without any spectators, but with plenty of cameras for the television audience.
  • Performers such as Dolly Parton and Pentatonix will appear live, while other performances have been prerecorded and will air throughout the televised parade.
“Under the unique challenges of these unparalleled times, we felt it was important to continue this cherished American tradition that has been the opening act to the holiday season for generations of families.”

Macy's on why they decided not to cancel this year's Thanksgiving Day Parade despite COVID-19 safety concerns. They reduced the parade's participants by 88%, excluded child volunteers, and added plenty of personal protective equipment.

New balloons being featured this year are Red Titan and Boss Baby, pulled by special vehicles rather than held by volunteers. 1 in 6 Americans are expected to watch the parade this year.

More on the history: CLICK HERE 

A good read: Fun Parade Facts

A fun interview by the Exec. Producer of the parade preparing for 2020: LISTEN


by Jenna Lee,

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