Seasons Greetings
    

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Local News

Long route and crowds are back: Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade 2021 Date, Route and Schedule

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Long route and crowds are back: Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade 2021  Date, Route and Schedule

2021-11-25 01:54:13

By Ravi Kumar  Image Source: Screen Shot

Last year, the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade was a muted affair. Because of the pandemic, it was a TV-only event. No animated crowds lining Manhattan's avenues. No long parade route.

The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City returns this year, now closer to its usual format. The annual parade presented by the department store chain was closed to spectators in 2020 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The 2021 spectacle will return to the more familiar parade of yore. Travelers and residents will have 2.5 miles of public viewing as balloons, floats and bands make their way from the Upper West Side to Macy's flagship store at Herald Square. The 2020 parade was held in a small area around the Macy's flagship store -- just enough room to stage it for broadcast.

Will Coss, the parade's executive producer, said: "For our 95th celebration, we are delighted to return this cherished holiday tradition closer to its original form as we march down the streets of New York City and into the homes of a nationwide audience," during a statement released in September.

This year it will take a more traditional route, starting at West 77th Street and Central Park West, but with no or limited public viewing there, according to Macy's official parade website.

Early birds start arriving around 6 a.m. Thursday on Central Park West from West 75th to West 61st streets. This stretch is considered to have great views. The parade will then make a turn at Columbus Circle -- again no public viewing at the circle.

After a relatively short distance down Central Park South, the parade will head south on 6th Avenue for the long trip toward Midtown Manhattan. Macy's touts the views from West 59th to West 38th streets.

The parade makes its final turn on 34th street and terminates in front of the flagship store (no public viewing here either). The parade sees crowds gather to watch several floats go by along the streets of the New York City borough of Manhattan.

This year's event will feature several new balloons and floats, such as a Grogu, also known as Baby Yoda balloon, Ada Twist, Scientist and the Pokémon characters Pikachu and Eevee balloons. Thanksgiving this year falls on November 25 and the annual parade will be held that day from 9 a.m. to noon local time.

Spectators will also be allowed to see the balloons inflated the day before the parade, with proof of vaccination. Children under 12 years old may be accompanied by a vaccinated adult.

NBC is the official broadcaster for the parade, and coverage starts at 9 a.m. in all US time zones. The parade hosts are Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb and Al Roker of the "Today" show.

The Spanish language simulcast on Telemundo will be hosted by Ana Jurka and Carlos Adyan. NBC is also offering streaming on its new Peacock Premium platform.

CBS will also cover the parade from 9 a.m. to noon. And it will live stream on its Paramount Plus Premium platform. You might also catch it if you have live TV streaming services such as FuboTV, Hulu with Live TV, Sling TV and YouTube TV.

While full vaccinations were required to attend the balloon inflation event Wednesday afternoon, there is no Covid-19 vaccination requirement for the public to watch the parade from the sidewalks on Thursday morning. People are encouraged to wear masks and dress accordingly for late November weather in New York City.

Spectators are asked to avoid bringing large bags, umbrellas, backpacks and strollers. The public entering viewing streets might undergo a security search.

The Macy's website says: "Early risers arrive starting at 6am ET on the west side of Central Park West from West 75th to West 61st Streets. Great views can be found along this stretch."

The procession will then move to Columbus Circle, where the parade turns here onto Central Park South and onto 6th Avenue, where spectators can catch great views from West 59th to West 38th Streets. The parade then makes its final turn and ends in front of Macy's Herald Square.

Viewers are advised to avoid watching the parade on 6th Avenue between West 34th and West 38th streets as well as on West 34th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues as "the national television broadcast limits viewing here," the parade website says. See the Macy's website for more information on areas with restricted viewing.

The following health and safety guidelines are in place for all parade participants and staff, according to a Macy's statement in September:

All participants and staff will be vaccinated. Some exceptions may apply at the sole discretion of Macy's and company's medical consultant based on certain extenuating circumstances. Macy's medical personnel will conduct COVID-19 testing for those instances.

Regardless of vaccination status all participants and staff are required to wear face coverings and additional protective equipment, depending on their role. Some exceptions may apply, such as for performers in the national broadcast.

Macy's will implement a reduction in overall number of parade participants of between 10 to 20 percent (approximately 800 to 1,600 participants). Social distancing measures will be in place at all interior and exterior parade operations.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday there is "no credible and specific threat" to the city for the upcoming parade and that the city is in "a high state of preparation."

De Blasio was also asked whether the Wisconsin Christmas parade incident that left six people dead after an SUV plowed into a crowd would affect New York City's security plan.

"It's tragic and horrible what happened in Wisconsin but, I will tell you, the NYPD for years and years has planned for very careful security around the parade," the mayor said.

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