For the first time in 94 years, the march took place only on TV, without the public, in a police-cordoned-off square.
The traditional Thanksgiving Day parade in New York was not completely canceled due to the pandemic. Still, for the first time in its 94-year history, it was held exclusively on TV, without a live audience, and in a police-cordoned-off square.
The organizers stated their intention to reduce the number of participants by 88% and advised viewers not to put themselves in danger and watch the procession on TV at home. The public was also encouraged by the weather – it was raining in New York in the morning. Participants in the parade were required to pass an infection test in advance, and they were subject to strict requirements for the presence of protective masks and social distance.
The march was broadcast live from the police-cordoned square in front of the Central Macy’s Department store at 34th street, Broadway, and 6th Avenue. Simultaneously, musicians and flights of inflatable figures were shown in the recording, and during the broadcast, you could see footage from parades of previous years.
The square itself was closed to the public and the press. It was only possible to observe what was happening from a distance of several blocks, but even this wasn’t easy to do. Inflatable figures were lowered to the ground and blown away after a few dozen meters, and the platform leading the parade column with a festive turkey turned into the next street before it could be clearly seen.
“Overall, I’m happy – admitted in an interview with one of the casual viewers -of course, it’s not what we’re used to, but it’s still better than nothing.”
The public was not allowed to attend the balloon-blowing ceremony in Central Park. There were no school bands that usually come to the city from all over the country to participate in the parade. Several performing groups from local schools replaced them.