holidays

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade 2020: What You Need to Know

The Macy's Thanksgiving Parade will air nationwide as a television-only event with no audience on NBC and Telemundo on Thursday, Nov. 26 from 9 a.m. ET to 12 p.m. ET

NBC Universal, Inc.

What to Know

  • Although we are used to seeing the masses come together to see the grandiose balloons making their way down the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade route, this year the celebration will be a bit different.
  • The Macy's Thanksgiving Parade will air nationwide as a television-only event with no audience on NBC and Telemundo on Thursday, Nov. 26 from 9 a.m. ET to 12 p.m. ET, in all time zones.
  • While there will be no parade marching down amid a sea of cheering crowds, a number of theatrical and musical performances are scheduled to participate in this year's event.

While the ongoing pandemic has canceled or postponed many events, there are some annual traditions that will still take place -- although with a new twist. One such event is the beloved Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Although we are used to seeing the masses come together to see the grandiose balloons making their way down the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade route, this year the celebration will be a bit different. The Macy's Thanksgiving Parade will air nationwide as a television-only event with no audience on NBC and Telemundo on Thursday, Nov. 26 from 9 a.m. ET to 12 p.m. ET, in all time zones.

To safely bring the spectacle to millions nationwide during this unprecedented time, the annual production will be reimagined as a television-only event with no audience. This year the procession will forgo marching down the traditional 2.5-mile route in Manhattan in order to avoid gathering large crowds.

The parade's iconic balloons will not be anchored by human handlers this year but will instead be pulled by specially-designed vehicles driving in precision.

"Safety is our No. 1 priority, and we can't do this without people in the city of New York and the state really supporting us and guiding us along the way," Susan Tercero, the executive producer of the parade, said on "TODAY."

As families scale down or skip traditional gatherings, many are mixing up the main meal and taking extra safety precautions.

This year's television-only spectacle will be a smaller affair, its number of participants reduced by 75 percent. The performers involved will stay social distant and must wear appropriate masks or face coverings.

"It's been a very interesting year, but our goal is to really deliver a wonderful, safe, entertaining event for everybody Thanksgiving morning," Tercero said.

In lieu of high school marching bands traveling in from across the country, the parade will lean on a handful of local marching bands as well as performers from other parades that have been casualties of the pandemic, like the St. Patrick's Day Parade, the West Indian Day Parade, the Puerto Rican Day Parade, the Pride Parade and the Mermaid Parade, according to Tercero.

While there will be no parade marching down amid a sea of cheering crowds, a number of theatrical and musical performances are scheduled to participate in this year's event. While performers are subject to change, here are all that are scheduled to participate:

BROADWAY/THEATRICAL PERFORMANCES:

  • "Ain’t Too Proud - The Life and Times of The Temptations"
  • "Hamilton"
  • "Jagged Little Pill"
  • "Mean Girls"
  • Radio City Rockettes

PERFORMANCE GROUPS:

  • All-female samba drumline Fogo Azul NYC along with Pulitzer Prize winning playwright and Mermaid Queen Lynn Nottage and Dick Zigun representing the Coney Island USA Mermaid Parade
  • Danza Fiesta representing the National Puerto Rican Day Parade
  • The Lesbian & Gay Big Apple Corps Band representing the NYC Pride March
  • The Sugarplum Fairy from George Balanchine’s "The Nutcracker" representing the New York City Ballet
  • The FDNY Emerald Society Pipes and Drums representing the New York City St. Patrick's Day Parade
  • A special performance titled CaribeFuturism featuring a collective of acts including partners Pan in Motion, Batingua Arts, Sesame Flyers, and Kaisokah Moko Jumbies with Carnival Queen Kay Mason representing the West Indian American Day Carnival Association
  • The Big Apple Circus
  • The NYPD Police Band
  • The West Point Marching Band
  • Zeta Phi Beta

STARS AND MUSICAL PERFORMANCES:

  • Lauren Alaina
  • Jimmie Allen and Noah Cyrus
  • Ally Brooke
  • Sofia Carson
  • CNCO
  • Jimmy Fallon and The Roots
  • Karol G
  • Tori Kelly
  • Patti LaBelle
  • Ella Mai
  • Miss America 2020 Camille Schrier
  • The cast and Muppets of Sesame Street
  • Leslie Odom Jr.
  • Keke Palmer
  • Dolly Parton
  • Pentatonix
  • Bebe Rexha
  • Jordin Sparks
  • Sebastián Yatra
  • Brett Young
  • Santa Claus
Contact Us