A huge Thanksgiving Day parade with thousands of fans watching along city streets seems like a REALLY BAD idea right now, with cases of Covid-19 rising again. So, good thing that Macy’s has drastically changed how they’ll conduct the department store’s annual Thanksgiving Day parade.
This year’s 94th annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will be for television audiences only. There won’t be the normal 2.5-mile parade route or crowds along the way; instead, the event will be tied only to the cameras in front of the Macy’s Herald Square flagship store on 34th Street in New York City.
Because the producers are treating this year’s parade like a movie set, Variety reports, they’ve been able to work with the city of New York and the New York Police Department in identifying areas to block off, so that crowds don’t try to crash the parade.
Guest stars scheduled to perform include no shortage of favorite reality stars:
Lauren Alaina, Ally Brooke, Sofia Carson, CNCO, Jimmy Fallon and The Roots (opening the show), Karol G, Tori Kelly, Patti LaBelle, Miss America 2020 Camille Schrier, Matthew Morrison, the cast and Muppets of Sesame Street®, Leslie Odom Jr., Keke Palmer, Dolly Parton (on behalf of Cracker Barrel Old Country Store®), Pentatonix, Bebe Rexha, Jordin Sparks, Sebastián Yatra, and Brett Young.
The Macy’s Parade will feature performances from the casts of Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of The Temptations, Hamilton, Jagged Little Pill and Mean Girls. In addition, the Radio City Rockettes® will bring their signature magic to Herald Square.
There are also a slew of marching bands and drum corps ready to entertain. However, according to Variety, there will be no high school or college marching bands, as the parade won’t include anyone under 18 this year due to health and safety concerns.
Although the parade and festivities will only be available to watch on television, production magic will likely make the parade seem the same as any other year.
“We found ways to have a balance of both [live and pre-tape],” executive producer Susan Tercero told Variety. “We will still be doing it live because there is some magic in that. I think that people are missing live entertainment, one of those things where you never know what’s going to happen. And people will want to tune in to see how we put it all together.”
Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb and Al Roker of NBC’s Today Show will host the three-hour telecast set to kick off at 9 am ET/PT Thanksgiving morning on NBC.