(NBC) Thanksgiving will be a lot different this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but one thing you can count on is millions of Americans will tune in to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
“We will still be doing a live parade on Thanksgiving Day, but it’s going to be shortened and it’s going to be something that’s only for the viewers at home,” says parade executive producer Susan Tercero.
That means no crowds lining the streets of Manhattan as marching bands, floats and balloons make their way to Herald Square.
Instead, performances will take place only on television, near Macy’s iconic flagship store.
They’ll be utilizing every precaution to stop the spread of the virus.
“Safety is our number one priority,” Tercero says.
That means the number of people involved has been cut by 75 percent, and there will be masks and social distancing. Also, the trademark helium balloons will be tethered to vehicles this year, instead of being walked by dozens of balloon handlers.
Still, for viewers, it will still be the parade they’ve seen for decades.
There will still be big stars including Dolly Parton, Bebe Rexha and Jordin Sparks, along with 18 big balloons and 35 floats.
This year’s edition of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade kicks off at 9 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day. You can watch it on WCBD News 2.