Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade will go on with no audience due to COVID-19

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The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade will still have a lineup of star-studded theatrical and musical performances, but there will be no crowds of onlookers this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Floats and performers will travel just one city block down 34th Street– as opposed to their two-and-a-half-mile route starting at West 77th Street– and the streets surrounding the site will be closed off, even during the planning stages, to prevent onlookers from congregating, according to reports by The New York Times. 

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In past years, uniformed handlers have flown the giant balloons throughout the parade, but this year, they will be driven by utility vehicles to limit the number of people involved in the production, which has already been pared down from between 8,000 and 10,000 people working on the route, to about 1,500 this year. 

Pre-filmed Broadway productions of "Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of The Temptations," "Hamilton," "Jagged Little Pill," and "Mean Girls," as well as the Radio City Rockettes will all be broadcast during the Nov. 26 show that will be a television-only event. 

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This will be one of the first times during the coronavirus pandemic that Broadway performers will put on a show, after the iconic section of Manhattan was left darkened and desolate due to forced closures. 

Other performers on Thanksgiving Day will include the Big Apple Circus, the NYPD Police Band, and the West Point Marching Band with musical appearances from Patti LaBelle, Dolly Parton, Jordin Sparks, Santa Clause and dozens more. 

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“We still wanted to deliver what people expect on a Thanksgiving morning,” Susan Tercero, the event’s executive producer, told the NYT. “But it’s going to look like a parade during Covid times: We’re going to have people in masks and we’re going to be socially distanced.”

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