No, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Isn’t Cancelled—Here’s How to Watch It Online

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
Photo: AP Photo/ Louis Lanzano.

No, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade 2020 isn’t cancelled, and yes, there’s a way to watch it online.

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has been around since 1924. It was first televised 1948. The event is a three-hour parade that starts somewhere in Manhattan and ends outside of the Macy’s flagship store in Herald Square. The parade is held each year from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. ET on Thanksgiving Day, and has been televised on NBC since 1953. Over the years, dozens of floats have been a part of the parade, from balloons shaped like cartoon characters such as Donald Duck and Pikachu to inflatables inspired by animals like hummingbirds and daschunds. Hundreds of performers have also sung at the Macy’s Day Parade, including Kelly Clarkson, Celine Dion and Ashanti.

Despite the dumpster fire we know as 2020, the 94th annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will go on. Here are all the details viewers need to know.

When is the 2020 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade?

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade will air from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. ET on NBC on Thursday, November 26.

Who are the 2020 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade performers?

Today Show hosts Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb and Al Roker will host the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Jimmy Fallon and the Roots are scheduled to open the parade. Other performers include Lauren Alaina, Sofia Carson, Tori Kelly, Patti LaBelle, Matthew Morrison, Leslie Odom Jr., Keke Palmer, Dolly Parton, Pentatonix, Bebe Rexha and Jordin Sparks, as well as the casts of Broadway’s Ain’t Too Proud—The Life and Times of The Temptations, Hamilton, Jagged Little Pill and Mean Girls.

What’s different about the 2020 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade?

Given the pandemic, there are a lot of changes to this year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. According to Variety, the parade won’t follow its usual 2.5-mile route. Instead, the parade will only be for television audiences and will take place in front of the Macy’s Herald Square store on 34th Street in New York City. This means that there won’t be the usual crowds of people along the route that watch the parade.

“Every year we have two parades: There’s the one for New Yorkers who line the parade along the streets, and we knew that couldn’t happen, we couldn’t march from uptown to downtown,” executive producer Susan Tercero told Variety. “The other parade is the one that happens on television for 50 million people. We knew that was going to be our safest way of moving forward.”

To prevent crowds from crashing the broadcast, producers have been able to work with the city of New York and the New York Police Department to block off certain areas for the parade. The parade will also be a mix of live and pre-taped floats and performances.“We found ways to have a balance of both [live and pre-tape],” Tercero said. “We will still be doing it live because there is some magic in that. I think that people are missing live entertainment, one of those things where you never know what’s going to happen. And people will want to tune in to see how we put it all together.”

The participants in the parade have also been reduced to approximately 88 percent, with filming taking place over three days.

How to watch the 2020 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade online for free

For the fifth year in a row, NBC has partnered with Verizon to livestream the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade for free. Viewers can watch the parade online for free at Verizon’s YouTube channel, Twitter and Verizon Media properties, such as Yahoo.

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