Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade to Go Virtual Amid Pandemic

“They’re reinventing the event for this moment in history,” says New York City mayor Bill de Blasio

Last Updated: September 14, 2020 @ 8:54 AM

The annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will go on, but as with all other events in 2020, it will be mostly virtual amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the news Monday during his daily press briefing. “It will be a different kind of event. They’re reinventing the event for this moment in history, and you’ll be able to feel the spirit and the joy of that day on television, online,” he said. “Not a live parade but something that will really give us that warmth and that great feeling we have on Thanksgiving Day.”

The retailer, on its own website, committed to “reimagine” the annual parade and cited its “successful, safe and innovative production of Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks” as an example of maintaining tradition with new safety protocols. “For those that can’t remember back to July (it’s been a really long year), Macy’s set off small, five-minute fireworks in each New York borough throughout the week, leading up to a finale over the Empire State Building — all in front of zero spectators,” the company said.

NBC has the official TV rights to both Macy’s events. This year’s 4th of July Spectacular hit new lows in both the key adults 18-49 demographic and total viewers.

De Blasio said that Macy’s will announce further details regarding its plans later on Monday.