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Mayor Bill de Blasio cancels Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

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Mayor Bill de Blasio cancels iconic Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and says it will be reimagined as a virtual event

  • De Blasio announced that the Thanksgiving Day parade will be held virtually this year due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic on Wednesday
  • ‘It will not be the same parade we’re used to,’ he said. ‘[Macy’s is] reinventing the event for this moment in history’
  • The mayor said the parade will not be live but will be available online and on TV 
  • Macy’s is expected to release additional details about its plans later Monday 

By Megan Sheets For Dailymail.com

Published: | Updated:

For the first time in nearly a century the iconic Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will not be taking to the streets of New York City.

At a press conference on Monday, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the parade will be held virtually this year due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. 

‘It will not be the same parade we’re used to,’ de Blasio said. ‘[Macy’s is] reinventing the event for this moment in history. And you will be able to feel the spirit and the joy of that day.’

The parade will not be live this year but viewers can watch it online and on TV, the mayor said. 

He praised Macy’s for successfully adapting its Fourth of July fireworks display and expressed excitement for how it will reimagine the parade as well.  

‘There are some things we still can’t do,’ de Blasio. ‘We’re looking forward to a lot of them coming back in 2021.’ 

For the first time in nearly a century the iconic Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will not be taking to the streets of New York City this November (file photo)

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Monday that the parade will be held virtually this year due to the coronavirus pandemic

Macy’s addressed the upcoming changes in a post on its website, writing: ‘Following our successful, safe and innovative production of Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks®, it is our intention to similarly reimagine Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade this November.’

De Blasio said the retail giant will be releasing more details about their plans later on Monday. 

Macy’s held its first Thanksgiving Day Parade in 1924 to mark the opening of its ‘world’s largest store’ in New York City. 

The parade through the streets of Manhattan quickly became a beloved American tradition with more than 3.5 million people attending and another 50 million tuning in to watch it on TV each year. 

Roughly 10,000 people – including 4,000 Macy’s employees – come together to put on the parade each year. 

In recent years the cost of the parade has topped $4million between balloon costs, float decorations and property taxes, according to GoBankingRates

Last month de Blasio indicated that portions of the parade would still be held in person this year.

‘Some is going to be virtual, there might be some small in-person pieces, spread out pieces, it’s not going to look at all of course like how we are used to,’ he said on August 20. 

‘But the important thing is, the traditions will be kept in some way.’ 

The parade is the latest in a string of beloved Big Apple traditions to get the ax this year – including NYC Pride, the West Indian Day Parade and the Feast of San Gennaro – after the city became the leading coronavirus hotspot in the US this spring.  

While infection and death rates have slowed dramatically in recent months, de Blasio and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo have remained cautious about reopening due to the city’s population density and popularity with tourists from regions with higher rates.  

As of Monday, 233,216 COVID-19 cases, 19,120 confirmed deaths and 4,623 probable deaths have been reported in New York City. 

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