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What the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade will look like amid COVID-19 pandemic

By Christi Carras, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Entertainment News

Broadway is back! Well, sort of.

Organizers of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade have revealed that the Broadway ensembles of "Hamilton," "Jagged Little Pill," "Ain't Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations" and "Mean Girls" will perform during this year's event as theaters across the country remain closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Theatrical performances have long been a staple of the annual New York City celebration, which will operate differently this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Similarly to Pasadena's New Year's Day Rose Parade, the 2020 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade has been converted into a telecast that Americans will be able to watch from their homes.

"Why not showcase New York at a time when a lot of people have missed being able to participate and watch these types of performances and cultural displays?" said the executive producer of the parade, Susan Tercero, in a recent interview with The New York Times.

Here's everything you need to know about this month's made-for-TV presentation, airing from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. in all time zones Nov. 26 on NBC.

IT'S GOING TO BE SMALLER — MUCH SMALLER

 

In order to ensure the safety of the talent and crew, the volume of this year's parade participants has been reduced by about 75%. Additionally, all participants must be at least 18 years old, and "general participants" have been limited to people residing in the New York tri-state area.

Instead of the typical 2.5-mile parade route through the streets of New York City, the festivities will be filmed exclusively in and around Midtown Manhattan's Herald Square. The preceding balloon inflation ceremony, which usually takes place the Wednesday before Thanksgiving outside Manhattan's Museum of Natural History, has also been canceled to avoid drawing crowds.

PERFORMERS WILL BE MASKED AND SOCIALLY DISTANCED

Because they will be sharing the same physical space — as opposed to the patchwork Zoom approaches of other pandemic productions — all participants will be asked to wear face coverings and other personal protective equipment, when necessary, during performances shot in installments over a two-day period.

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