Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will be TV only this year

Chalk up another American tradition that has been affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

The 94th Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will be a TV-only affair this year, Macy’s announced.

The parade is scheduled to be broadcast from 9 a.m. to noon Thursday, Nov. 26, on NBC. It will continue to mix giant character balloons, floats, street performers, clowns and the heralding of the holiday season with Santa Claus.

This will be the first time in the parade’s history that spectators will not be allowed along the parade’s traditional 2.5-mile route. The change is an effort to “avoid gathering millions of spectators in person,” the retailer said.

“It will not be the same parade we’re used to. It will be a different kind of event,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said during a Monday news conference.

The number of participants in this year’s event will be reduced by about 75%, Macy’s said Monday. Participants will practice social distancing during performances and wear face coverings, as well as supplementary Personal Protective Equipment based on their role.

All participants will be 18 years or older. Performances by regional high school and college marching bands will be pushed to the 2021 parade, and local professional marching and musical groups will fill the gap for 2020.