The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is going virtual this year.
Macy’s announced on Monday that the iconic parade will not be held live, according to NBC News. Instead, it will be broadcast on television and online with smaller, pre-recorded events — similar to the way Macy’s held this year’s 4th of July Fireworks show.
“This year the celebration will shift to a television only special presentation, showcasing the Macy’s Parade’s signature mix of giant character helium balloons, fantastic floats, street performers, clowns and heralding the arrival of the holiday season with the one-and-only Santa Claus,” Macy’s said in a statement, according to Fox News.
The parade — which this year falls on Nov. 26 — will reduce the number of participants by 75%, with each person maintaining social distancing, according to NBC.
High school and college marching bands will not come from out of state to perform in this year’s parade, and those who were already invited to attend will be deferred until 2021, NBC reported.
The changes are due to concerns that large-scale events like the parade could become “coronavirus superspreaders” — even if the attendees were to social distance and wear masks, according to Forbes.
The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has been a tradition since 1924. The parade has aired each year on NBC since 1953, according to People magazine.
“It will be a different kind of event,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said of this year’s parade, according to People. “They’re reinventing the event for this moment in history, and you’ll be able to feel the spirit and the joy of that day on television, online. Not a live parade but something that will really give us that warmth and that great feeling we have on Thanksgiving Day.”