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Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Preparations: Pandemic Edition

The performers for Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade have been rehearsing for this unusual celebration.

Preparations for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade are underway, but this iconic nearly 100-year-old New York City tradition will look a little different this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade will still feature performances and the iconic balloons, but without the crowds.

The parade has been shortened to be just a block long, to avoid the usual crowds of spectators. Additionally, the balloons which are normally held by many human handlers will be carried by vehicles to decrease the number of people involved. The number of participants has been reduced by 75% and their roles will be spread out over multiple days. Some performances that are normally live will be pre-recorded, and the appearances of high school and college marching bands from around the country will be held off until next year. Instead of many performers from around the country, local performers will appear.

Despite all the difficulties of the year and changes in the parade, viewers can still get excited for performances that are sure to be spectacular this year. Now just a couple days away, rehearsals have begun.

The Rockettes posted a video of their rehearsal from last year on Instagram in preparation.

Along with other safety precautions, people are masked and distanced.

You can't help but feel a little nostalgic for those times while watching them shoulder to shoulder without masks, but this year's performance is sure to be wonderful; Macy's tweeted a short clip of their rehearsal last night.

Casts from multiple Broadway hits—Hamilton, Jagged Little Pill, Ain't Too Proud, and Mean Girls—are scheduled to appear, as well as Dolly Parton, Leslie Odom Jr., Keke Palmer, Bebe Rexha, Pentatonix, and more. The New York City Ballet and the Radio City Rockettes will also perform.

Be sure to tune in on Thanksgiving Day, November 26th, from 9 AM to 12 PM (in all time zones) on NBC!

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Ainsley Roh