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Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade to be pre-taped without an audience this year

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Ralph Bavaro/NBC

(NEW YORK) — New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Monday that the 2020 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will be pre-taped, without an audience present, and air on TV on Thanksgiving Day.

Following a similar staged-and-recorded model used for the Macy’s Fourth of July fireworks this summer, viewers will still be able to watch the giant balloons, street performers and an appearance from Santa, all from the comfort of their homes.

“New York City is always proud to join Macy’s to ring in the holiday season with New Yorkers and viewers around the world. We’ve worked closely with the Macy’s team on a safe and creative plan this year, and we look forward to keeping this tradition going on Thanksgiving Day,” de Blasio said in a statement.

Macy’s added in their own statement that safety is the “number one priority” and has put together a “comprehensive health and wellness plan” working in accordance with the CDC and local health guidelines.

Some of the measures included in the plan are reducing the number of participants by 75% and dividing them between two days of filming. Performers will be required to wear face coverings and other PPE, as well as be “appropriately socially distanced” while performing. 

Additionally, the massive floats will not be operated by the typical team of 80-100 people, Macy’s instead using special vehicles that will tow the floats.

The parade will also not be following its normal 2.5 mile route, rather staging certain elements of the parade from Herald Square in Manhattan.

Children under the age of 18 will not be allowed to participate, with out-of-state marching band performances deferred to 2021.

The 94th annual parade will air on November 26 from 9 a.m. to noon local time.

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