Americans awoke on Thursday to celebrate a Thanksgiving Day transformed by the coronavirus pandemic, with abandoned New York City streets surrounding what would have been the 94th annual Macy’s parade.
The iconic parade, usually watched in person by hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers lining the streets of Manhattan and by Americans nationwide on their television screens, is this year limited to a television-only event due to the pandemic.
This year’s parade has been taped over the course of three days to be aired on NBC and Telemundo Thursday morning in an attempt to keep people at home as a result of rising coronavirus cases.
‘That’s so that we can keep everybody at home safe,’ said Susan Tercero, executive producer of the parade, which NBC will air on Thursday from 9 a.m.-noon in all U.S. time zones.
‘This year, more than ever, it’s really important that we still have something for everybody to tune into on Thanksgiving morning.’
NYPD guarded the area on a rainy Thanksgiving morning as the third day of filming began, with quiet streets surrounding the performers where excited crowds usually gather from far and wide.
Floats that are part of the modified Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade are seen from the Empire State Building
The cast of Hamilton perform at the 2020 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on Thursday morning
A gloomy New York City on Thanksgiving morning as the parade began at 9am
A float prepares to film the third segment of the 94th Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on Thursday morning
Performers awaited minus the excited crowds as the TV-only event began on Thursday morning
The usually crowded Manhattan streets were abandoned on a rainy Thanksgiving morning
The float carrying Santa Claus lined up for the finale of the televised Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade
A new balloon of Red Titan, a character from ‘Ryan’s World’, featured in the third day of filming
Police officers block of access to Herald Square during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on Thursday morning
Empty Manhattan streets where hundreds of thousands would normally gather for the event
The ribbon is officially cut on the 2020 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
Dolly Parton performed for the televised event but from Nashville
Organizers of New York City’s annual parade vowed that the show must still go on this year, planning the scaled-back, safe version of this year’s event.
In a normal year, the celebration takes between 8,000 and 10,000 people – from marching bands to float handlers to dancers – to stage the parade, which runs from West 77th Street and Central Park West to 34th Street and Broadway in Manhattan.
But this year just 960 performers and staffers are involved in the parade, a reduction of 86 percent.
As well as no in-person viewing of the parade, the parade route has been slashed from its usual 2.5-mile route to just a one-block area encompassing West 34th Street between Sixth and Seventh Avenues.
The NYPD has positioned officers and shuttered surrounding streets to prevent crowds gathering to try and catch a peek as performers prepped for the show that will run until noon.
The event was kicked off by NBC weatherman Al Roker, who fans gladly welcomed back after recently undergoing surgery for prostate cancer.
The third day of filming the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade kicked off at 9am Thursday
The cast of Hamilton were among the performers at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
A balloon depicting Red Titan, a character from ‘Ryan’s World’, is seen ahead of the 94th Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
Santa’s sleigh will still finish up the parade, as is tradition, despite the lack of spectators
The parade featured several CGI floats that viewers deemed ‘terrifying’
Police officers block of access to Herald Square as the floats and balloons set up on Thursday morning
Quiet streets surrounded the filming as people were prevented from gathering to watch
Most of the performances were filmed right in front of Macy’s flagship NYC store
The number of handlers for the floats and balloons have been cut down this yea due to coronavirus concerns
This year just 960 performers and staffers are involved in the parade, a reduction of 86 percent
All performers and participants in this year’s parade are required to wear masks, as pictured Thursday morning
Macy’s say they still expect 50million people to watch the treasured tradition from home.
‘Traditions like this are comforting and they’re uplifting,’ said Tercero.
‘New York has always been a tough city. It bounces back. It takes its blows and then it continues on. And I think it’s extremely important for us to be that display this holiday season.
‘Regardless of what’s happened, New York needs to be that beacon of light in the darkness and this parade, I think, is symbolic of that.’
Yet not all viewers were pleased with complaints about the editing, music choices and the off putting lack of crowds that took away from the atmosphere.
‘Pathetic’ one viewer branded the recorded show.
That cast of Hamilton performing at the 2020 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on Thursday
This year, the parade will premiere a 48-foot-tall version of The Boss Baby, the character from the 2017 film by the same name
The launch of the 94th Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade as the ribbon was cut
The scene was gloomy and rainy as the 94th annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade began
Fans were unhappy that it seemed that Keke Palmer’s performance had been cut short
Bands performed from several of the other large parades of the year that were canceled due to the pandemic
CNCO were among the performers at this year’s event
Weatherman Al Roker returned to lead proceedings after his surgery for cancer
The fan favorite balloon of SpongeBob returned to the 2020 parade
‘Rain during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is oh so very 2020,’ said one Twitter user as the lackluster affair began.
‘Watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving stream. I guess it tracks that 2020 would literally rain on our parade,’ added another.
‘The broadcast is absolute garbage. I guess it’s to be expected in 2020,’ slammed yet another.
Some weren’t happy with the coronavirus preventions taken saying it was scary to see the performers in masks and one even joking that a miserable looking balloon was in fact a representation of COVID-19.
‘These performers waving on these floats as if they have a physical audience is why I have trust issues. Who are you waving to?’ wrote user @DiddyCoombs.
‘Fun Fact: it took an 88% decrease in workforce for Macy’s Parade to find a place for indigenous Americans at the parade,’ one person joked after a Native American group started off the show.
People were also angered to learn that this was the first year a female-designed ballon had been included in the parade.
‘I have No Idea why it took them this long to have their first female artist designed balloon, but at least it’s here,’ wrote Twitter user @MattyHorror.
Several viewers were unhappy with the background music that covered the lack of cheering from the crowd, deeming it ‘canned cheap Xmas background music’ while one person said ‘I could honestly do without the performances in front of Macy’s’.
‘I am so curious to know how the pitch went to hold an actual parade with no spectators,’ questioned a user named Rudy.
Even more were unhappy with the editing of the recorded segments.
‘Why is @nbc cutting off the great Darlene Love??!! And so very disappointed that they cut off the Native American’s most beautiful presentation! So disturbing that some idiot made a decision like that!’ one person wrote on social media.
‘NBC cut off CNCO, Karol G, Keke Palmer, and Darlene Love but show the entirety of that meh ‘Mean Girls – the Musical (aka Karens)’ number for fear of 1 mil calls to the Manager,’ read one complaint.
The cast of Hamilton was performing at the treasured tradition for the first time this year
The Lego float as it went past Macy’s during the parade on Thursday morning
Performers outside of Macy’s during the 2020 Thanksgiving Day parade
One of the floats promoted girls in stem and encouraged young girls to code
The Pikachu balloon, also a fan favorite returned this year
The floats stopped for performances outside of Macy’s flagship NYC store at Herald Sqaure
‘First hour of the NBC live feed is unwatchable chopped up Broadway songs, second hour they edit out all the good stuff, shame,’ said another.
‘I agree @NBC is making poor editing decisions. Just plan out the the performances better ahead of time,’ weote user Sue Kerr.
Some segments of the show featured CGI elements that viewers called ‘terrifying’.
Several measures have been put in place to ensure workers and performers are kept safe including COVID-19 testing and wellness checks before they are allowed into the parade area.
All participants must wear masks and maintain the tri-state’s rules on quarantining and testing.
The number of balloons and floats has been pared back with 12 instead of the usual 16 giant balloons, and 18 instead of 26 parade floats.
In order to reduce the number of people needed on site, a specially rigged anchor vehicle framework of five specialty vehicles was also developed to fly the balloons instead of people.
Both NYPD and New York City Department of Transportation have tested and approved the special vehicle.
However, what is still going ahead promises to delight viewers tuning in on the morning of the Thanksgiving holiday from their homes.
This year, the parade will premiere a 48-foot-tall version of The Boss Baby, the character from the 2017 film by the same name as well as a new balloon of Red Titan, a character from ‘Ryan’s World’.
He’ll be joined by favorites Snoopy, Pikachu, Ronald McDonald, the Pillsbury Doughboy, SpongeBob and more.
The parade’s oldest float still in use, Rocking Horse, is back again this year but will be sporting a makeover.
There will be Broadway performances by the casts of Hamilton, Mean Girls, Jagged Little Pill, Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and the Times of the Temptations – with actors and dancers returning to the stage for the first time in months
The show will also include celebrity appearances, performances by the Rockettes, and of course, Santa will arrive in front of Macy’s famed flagship store on 34th Street to kick off the holiday season as is tradition for the finale.
Pokémon fans are in for a treat with a troupe of dancing Pikachus deliver an ‘electrifying performance’ in the parade in addition to the iconic giant Pikachu balloon soaring among the skyscrapers of Manhattan.
The show will include an appearance by a ballerina from the New York City Ballet who will dance as the Sugar Plum Fairy from The Nutcracker show, a holiday classic, which has been canceled entirely this season.
The parade will also include performances by talent that was supposed to perform at the canceled St. Patrick’s Day Parade, the Pride March, the National Puerto Rican Day Parade and the West Indian American Day Carnival Association.
‘While it will may look different in execution, we invite everyone to tune in and experience our incredible celebration on television featuring our signature character balloons, dazzling animated floats, whimsical clowns, world-class performances, and of course the arrival of Santa Claus, who will once again herald the start of the holiday season,’ Tercero said.
Bebe Rexha was among the other performers during the televised event
One of the dance troupes performs on Thursday morning despite the rain
Snoopy was among the balloons that was kept in the restructured 2020 parade
There were just 18 instead of 26 parade floats as the event was cut down due to coronavirus restrictions
Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk
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