Brian Peck


Here’s what to expect from this year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

The 94th annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will be different this year because of the coronavirus pandemic, with it being held as a TV event instead of an actual parade. There won’t be the usual procession down a 2.5-mile route through the streets of Manhattan in order to avoid large crowds.

The good news is that what you see on TV when it airs from 9AM to 12PM (all time zones) on NBC will mostly look the same, since the iconic giant helium character balloons, floats and performances will all be seen from outside of Macy’s flagship store at 34th Street in Manhattan, where they’re usually broadcast from, and it will of course include the Radio City Rockettes and end with the traditional arrival of Santa Claus to usher in the holiday season.

However, there won’t be any high school or college marching bands this year, and some segments are being taped ahead of time. All performers will be tested for the coronavirus, be socially distanced during the performances, and wear face masks.

BALLOONS: The iconic giant helium balloons will not be flown with human handlers this year, but instead be pulled along by special anchor vehicles. There are two new giant balloons in this year’s line-up:

  • The Boss Baby from DreamWorks Animation’s film, The Boss Baby: Family Business
  • Red Titan from Ryan’s World

FLOATS: There are four new floats among those in this year’s line-up:

  • Big Turkey Spectacular by Jennie-O
  • Christmas in Town Square by Lifetime
  • Her Future Is STEM-Sational by Olay
  • Tom & Jerry’s Tourist Trap by Warner Bros. Pictures.

CELEBRITIES: Among the celebrities who’ll be appearing are: AJRLauren Alaina, Jimmie Allen and Noah Cyrus, Ally Brooke, Sofia Carson, CNCOJimmy Fallon and The Roots, Goo Goo Dolls, Christopher Jackson and the cast and Muppets of Sesame Street, Tori Kelly, Patti LaBelle, Ella Mai, Miss America 2020 Camille Schrier, Leslie Odom Jr., Keke Palmer, Dolly Parton, Pentatonix, Bebe Rexha, Jordin Sparks, and Brett Young.

BROADWAY PERFORMANCES: The first hour of the broadcast will include performances from the Broadway musicals: Ain’t Too Proud — The Life and Times of The Temptations; Hamilton: The Musical; Jagged Little Pill; and Mean Girls.