Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade to Return in Full, With Crowds and Balloons

NBC Universal, Inc.

After a one-year pandemic switch to a largely virtual affair, the full Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade will return in 2021, with spectators and high-flying balloons, the company and New York City officials said Wednesday.

Details on public viewing locations and access rules are still to be announced, and will be managed by the city when the time comes, likely in November.

But Macy's said all volunteers and staff will have to be vaccinated, and will have to wear masks (with some exemptions for performers). It will also reduce the number of parade participants — which will include the traditional giant balloons, celebrity performers, clowns and marching bands — by as much as 20 percent.

“We are thrilled to welcome back in its full form the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, a world-renowned celebration that ushers in the magic of being in New York City during the holiday season,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement.

Marching bands that had been slated to join the 2020 parade will be participating this year instead, according to Macy's.

Yet to be determined, Macy's said, is whether the traditional pre-parade balloon inflation event will take place.

The parade will be televised on WNBC locally, and NBC nationally, from 9 a.m. to noon ET on Nov. 25.

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