Thanksgiving Day Parade goes virtual

COVID limitations changes traditional Macy’s New York parade

Madison Elliott, News Editor

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is one of the most unique aspects of Thanksgiving and the perfect celebration for the holiday as it also welcomes the Christmas season. This year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade was altered a bit to fit the unique circumstances of life.

Watching this parade is one of my personal favorites. The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is a televised parade thrown on Thanksgiving with large balloon and floats in New York City.
I love watching the different balloons and floats. The people are cheering, and it is a time of joy. I have so many good memories of sitting by the TV with all of my family watching this parade go by, so now it brings a cozy feeling to me.
First, it is important to look back on the history of this parade. This parade first occurred at 9 am on November 27, 1924. It was initially established for the Macy’s store in Manhattan, New York. They wanted to promote their store and showcase the opening of what at the time, they were called the “World’s Largest Store.”
In the first parade, the staff of Macy’s was marching in the streets wearing bright and fun costumes, live animals brought from the zoo, bands, and more. This parade had over 250,000 guests, proving that this was going to be a successful parade for Macy’s.
The parade runs on a two-and-a-half mile stretch that normally would allow for spectators to line the streets and applaud. It is a time where people can come together and spread joy, which is what the holiday season is all about.
There have only been three times this parade has been canceled. The parade was canceled in 1942, 1943 and 1944 due to the same reason for each. These canceled parades would have been held during World War II.
Because of the war going on at the time, there was a shortage of rubber and helium, so the parade was unable to be held.
With COVID-19 limitations and rare events this year, it caused a difference feel for the parade.
The parade was converted to strictly virtual, and the organizers of the parade significantly shortened the route. Also, the number of participants in the parade decreased to 75% for better safety precautions like ensuring social distancing.
The year 2020 has brought many challenges and obstacles. This year may not be traditional, but it is a year that will make history. A lot of traditions that have been held for years have been modified to show how unpredictable this year truly is.
The 2020 Thanksgiving Macy’s Day parade took place on November 26 from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm and was not traditional, but they did the best they could under these circumstances.
The best part for me was the live performances from the Pentatonix and the Rockettes. These performances brought life back into the parade since there were no spectators and not many other participants.
The rest of the parade was okay because there were fewer floats and they seemed to go by much slower.
The parade ended with the traditional and merry, Santa Claus float. That is the closing of this parade every year, so I was very happy to see that this tradition was able to continue.
Now that Thanksgiving has officially passed, the Christmas season has arrived.