The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Is Going Virtual This Year

From Good Housekeeping

It’s fair to say that Thanksgiving Day will look much different this year. But even if you can’t share a meal with your extended family or travel to visit loved ones, you can still rely on certain traditions to make the day feel like year’s past. First up: Start your day by tuning into the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (and video call your family members to experience the magic together).

At first, some assumed that the 94th annual would be scrapped, especially since the Rose Parade was canceled in early August due to coronavirus concerns. Still, Macy’s remains confident that they can carry on the tradition. “Following our successful, safe, and innovative production of Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks, it is our intention to similarly reimagine Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade this November,” the company wrote on their website.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio recently confirmed that the parade will be held virtually without a crowd: “It will not be a live parade, but something that will really give us that warmth and that great feeling we have on Thanksgiving day.” As de Blasio puts it, the parade will meet “this moment in history.” He reassures everyone that although “it will not be the same parade we’re used to” this year, he’s looking forward to “things coming back in all their greatness” in 2021.

While Macy’s hasn’t released many details about the 94th annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, here’s what we know so far.

First, what’s the history of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade?

Since 1924, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has been quintessential in celebrating the fourth Thursday in November. Now widely recognized as the official kickoff to the holiday season, the first parade was actually meant to honor the expansion of Macy’s flagship store in New York City, according to Mental Floss. Originally called the “Macy’s Christmas Parade,” it featured floats pulled by horses, professional entertainers, and Macy’s employees. But the most memorable detail was the Central Park Zoo animals: Bears, elephants, and donkeys walked the original route from 145th Street and Covent Avenue to 34th Street (a.k.a. Herald Square).

Photo credit: VIEW press - Getty Images
Photo credit: VIEW press – Getty Images

As for the grand finale, Santa Claus made an appearance, followed by the unveiling of Macy’s Christmas window displays. The tradition continued to gain popularity, causing the parade to be broadcasted over the radio for the first time in 1932 and televised in 1952.

What time does the Macy’s 2020 Thanksgiving Day Parade start?

This year, Turkey Day falls on Thursday, November 26. In previous years, the event went from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. in all time zones, but it’s unclear whether or not we can expect the same this year.

Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

What is the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade route?

As de Blasio put it, this year’s parade is “going to be different.” That means, it’s unknown at this time if the parade will follow the same route — or any route at all. Typically, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, which takes place in the heart of New York City, starts at West 77th Street and Central Park West and ends at 34th Street and Broadway.

How can I live-stream the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade?

Even if it looks and feels different, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will be available for anyone to watch in a number of ways. According to de Blasio, this year’s event will be available on television and online. In previous years, both NBC and CBS streamed the event on their respective TV channels, websites, and apps.

If they stick to tradition, you can also watch on the NBC website or through the NBC app — available on iOS and Android.

If CBS is your go-to, the network will likely begin its coverage at 9 a.m. You’ll also have the option to watch from the CBS website, CBS All Access, or via the CBS app — also available on iOS and Android.

Aside from watching on your laptop, tablet, or phone, you can also stream the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade from NBC and CBS’s apps on Amazon Fire, Apple TV, and Roku.

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