Macy's announced on Wednesday that people will once again be able to attend its annual Thanksgiving Day Parade in-person this year after the retailer barred attendance in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Following last year’s made for television celebration, the official kick-off to the holiday season will take to the streets of Manhattan on Thursday, November 25th beginning at 9:00 a.m.," Macy's said in a press release.
"On Thanksgiving Day, the spectacle will once again delight New York City spectators and a national television audience with its signature mix of giant character helium balloons, fantastic floats, marching bands, performance groups, celebrities, clowns, and the one-and-only Santa Claus," said the department store chain.
Last year's parade was reworked in light of the worsening COVID-19 pandemic, with the usual live spectacle interspersed with pre-taped virtual performances as well. Instead of marching down its usual 2.5 mile route, the parade was concentrated around the 34th St. block.
For this year's parade, all volunteers and staff will be required to be vaccinated and wear masks. Exceptions to the mask rule will be made for some performers such as singers, dancers and musicians. The overall number of participants will also be reduced by 10 to 20 percent.
In addition, social distancing measures will be put in place in all parade areas including costume areas, seating areas and participant check-ins.
The retailer added that the City of New York will "manage public viewing locations and safety procedures" along designated portions of the route. The company added that procedures for these areas are forthcoming.
“For our 95th celebration, we are delighted to return this cherished holiday tradition closer to its original form as we march down the streets of New York City and into the homes of a nationwide audience," Will Cross, the executive director of the parade said.
New York City Mayor Bill de BlasioBill de BlasioEMILY's List announces early endorsement of Hochul More than 200 women, transgender inmates to be transferred from Rikers Island Achieving equity through mediocrity: Why elimination of gifted programs should worry us all MORE (D) celebrated the announcement as ushering back the "magic of being in New York City during the holiday season."
“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," said de Blasio.