Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade to roll for television audience only for the first time in 94 years

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SpongeBob Squarepants makes his way down Central Park West during the 87th Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York on November 28, 2013. There was fear that the iconic ballons could have been grounded if windy conditions had picked up this morning. AFP PHOTO / TIMOTHY CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY CLARY/AFP via Getty Images)

(WKRG) – An iconic Thanksgiving tradition will go on despite a global pandemic. The beloved Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will roll for a television-only audience for the first time in its 94-year history.

The traditional 2.5-mile parade route will be replaced by a staged area near the Macy’s store in Manhattan’s Herald Square, which is typically the endpoint of the parade.

Portions of the nationwide NBC broadcast will be prerecorded in an effort to socially distance participants, but the majority of the show will be live, a spokesperson told CBS News.

The number of participants in this year’s event will be reduced by about 75%. Participants will practice social distancing during performances and wear face coverings, CBS News reports. Invitations to regional high school and college marching bands have been postponed until the 2021 parade, and local professional musical groups will fill in the gaps for this year’s event.

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