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Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade: times, TV and how to watch online

The holiday season always involves a celebrity-studded spectacular from the New York store and his year's covid-safe edition is not to be missed.

The holiday season always involves a celebrity-studded spectacular from the New York store and his year's covid-safe edition is not to be missed.

The holiday season is a time full of tradition but with covid-19 cases on the rise nationwide this will be a Thanksgiving unlike any other. Department store Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has been going on for nearly a century but its 94th edition will be a coronavirus-safe affair.

The 2020 parade will be televised live on NBC to avoid encouraging people to crowd the streets to witness the spectacle, and has provided a logistical challenge for the organisers.

“We have to plan this thing about 18 months out, because we do things like select the bands, we design and build our floats, our balloons and everything,” said NBC executive producer Susan Tercero. “As you can imagine, when we got to March of this past year, we’d already had a parade plan.”

How to watch Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade 2020

This year’s celebrations will be hosted by NBC News’ Today team of Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb, Craig Melvin and Al Roker. The latter will be hosting his 25th Macy’s Parade.The coverage will be aired nationwide on NBC, from 9:00am to noon (Eastern Time) on Thursday November 26.

If you tune into NBC’s television channel you will be able to watch the programme in full, but there are other ways to catch the display. It will be available to watch live on NBC.com and on a variety of streaming channels, such as Verizon’s YouTube channel or their Twitter page.

What to expect from Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade 2020

In planning the 2020 parade Macy’s have worked closely with the City of New York to come up with a spectacle that keeps all involved safe. As such the usual 2.5-mile route around the city has been abandoned to focus instead on the final section of the parade.

This part will be held directly in front of the store itself, which will open at 5:00pm on Thanksgiving afternoon and stay open until Saturday. The stripped-back Parade will require around 75% fewer participants and all performances will be socially distanced. Those involved will also be wearing face masks and additional personal protective equipment if required.

Will there be celebrity appearances?

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is always garnished with more than a sprinkle of celebrity and this year’s offering will be no different. After being in the news for her contribution to the coronavirus vaccine effort, country star Dolly Parton will be the biggest name in attendance and will be performing from the Home Sweet Home float.

Here’s a full list of the Parade guests for 2020:

  • Ally Brooke (aboard the “Blue’s Clues & You1” float, sponsored by Nickelodeon)
  • The Band of the New York City Police Department (performing “God Bless America”)
  • Bebe Rexha (aboard the Big Turkey Spectacular float, sponsored by Jennie-O)
  • The Big Apple Circus
  • Breakfast Clowns
  • Brett Young (aboard the Harvest in the Valley float, sponsored by Green Giant)
  • Miss America 2020 Camille Schrier (aboard the Patriotic Top Hat float, sponsored by Macy’s)
  • Circus Clowns
  • City Tourist Clowns
  • CNCO (aboard the “Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” float, sponsored by Nickelodeon)
  • Coney Island USA’s Mermaid Parade (featuring Fogo Azul)
  • Corny-Copia Clowns
  • Dolly Parton (aboard the Home Sweet Home float, sponsored by Cracker Barrel Old Country Store)
  • Ella Mai (aboard the Fantasy Chocolate Factory float, sponsored by Kinder)
  • The FDNY Emerald Society Pipes & Drums
  • Funny Firefighter Brigade Clowns
  • Funny Flurry Clowns
  • Half-Baked Holiday Sweets
  • Heritage of Pride (New York City’s Lesbian and Gay Big Apple Corps Marching Band, performing “Dancing Queen”)
  • Holiday Clowns
  • Jimmie Allen (aboard the Winning Winter Together float, sponsored by Massmutual and the NHL)
  • Jordin Sparks (aboard the Splashing Safari Adventure float, sponsored by Kalahari Resorts and Conventions)
  • Karol G (aboard the Her Future is Stem-Sational float, sponsored by Olay)
  • Keke Palmer (aboard the Rexy in the City float, sponsored by Coach)
  • Lauren Alaina (aboard the Mount Rushmore’s American Pride float, sponsored by the South Dakota Department of Tourism)
  • Leslie Odom, Jr. (aboard the Toy House of Marvelous Milestones float, sponsored by New York Life)
  • Macy’s Clown U
  • The National Puerto Rican Day Parade (featuring Danza Fiesta)
  • The New York City Ballet (aboard the Central Park float, sponsored by Delta Airlines)
  • Noah Cyrus (aboard the Winning Winter Together float, sponsored by MassMutual and the NHL)
  • Nutty-Cracker Ballet Clowns
  • Patti Labelle (aboard the Deck the Hells float, sponsored by Balsam Hill)
  • Pentatonix (aboard the Heartwarming Holiday Countdown float, sponsored by Hallmark Channel)
  • Pirate Clowns
  • Safari Clowns
  • Santa’s Toy Box Clowns
  • Sebastian Yatra (aboard the Brick-Changer float, sponsored by the Lego Group)
  • Silly Seaside Clowns & Sea Creatures
  • Sleepy Clowns
  • Sofia Carson (aboard the everyone’s Favorite Bake Shop float, sponsored by Entenmann’s)
  • Springtime Clowns
  • Tori Kelly (aboard the Christmas in Town Square float, sponsored by Lifetime)
  • Toy Blocks
  • Turkey Tech Players & Sports Fans
  • Wedding Bell-Y Laffs & Limo Service Clowns
  • West Indian American Day Carnival Association (performing “CaribFuturism: LOVE.CULTURE.PEOPLE”)
  • West Point Band (performing “The Hellcats,” “This Is My County” and “The Army Goes Rolling Along”)
  • Zeta Phi Beta Steppers (performing “100 Yearz of Finer”)