Not snow, not rain, not gusting winds or the Great Depression have caused the cancellation of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in its 96-year history. On Thursday it seems poised to power through a pandemic.
The other parades of New York City have fallen one by one, as city and state officials determined it would be unsafe to proceed with the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, the Pride March and the Puerto Rican Day Parade because they draw such huge crowds. The West Indian American Day Parade on Labor Day was forced to go virtual for similar reasons.
But the Thanksgiving Day Parade is sailing forth, largely because the millions who typically attend have been told to stay home and the event has been scaled down to a television show, albeit one that many view as itself a ritual marker of the holiday.
So the parade route will be one block long, not two miles. Those high school bands from around the country will not be marching, and instead of some 2,000 balloon handlers to coordinate, there will only be about 130.