New York’s traditional Thanksgiving parade adapts to pandemic

The large floats and balloons traveled part of the city center, but with little public, chinstraps and distance to avoid more infections of coronavirus.

The traditional Thanksgiving parade of New York was held this Thursday, although adapted to the reality of 2020: with very little public and with a much shorter route, due to the restrictions imposed by the coronavirus pandemic.

The giant floating balloons, floats and dance groups traveled through some of the streets of downtown Manhattan, after starting from 34th Street. There is the famous Macy’s shopping center, which gives its name and organizes this parade, born in 1924 and which in the United States it is synonymous with the beginning of the Christmas holidays.

But the excited screams of the boys, the fingers that pointed to the new doll that turns the corner, or the little ones climbing on the shoulders of their parents were this year replaced by uniformed technicians and police officers who ensured that the event ran without incident beyond the rain that visited him on several occasions.

The strings of most giant balloons, like those of SpongeBob SquarePants or the character in the cartoon film “The Baby Boss” (“The boss baby” or “A boss in diapers”), traditionally held by dozens of volunteers to foot, this time they were tied to small vehicles.

Only a few smaller ones, like the red star in the Macy’s symbol, were actually carried by small groups of people wearing masks, like all the participants who toured downtown Manhattan on the floats.

The United States is the country most affected by the coronavirus in the world, with more than 12.8 million cases and more than 262,000 deaths according to the Johns Hopkins University count.

Macy’s organized the show with a televised event in mind. Many performances were prerecorded and most of the artists participated remotely to reduce travel.

The parade also made space for the organizers of other traditional marches that were suspended after the outbreak of the pandemic, such as representatives of “St. Patrick’s Day” that was canceled for the first time in 258 years, or the “Mermaid Parade” ( The March of the Mermaids), which is organized in June in the Coney Island neighborhood and welcomes the summer season.

This year, the caravan also wanted to perform tribute to Broadway musicals and theater shows that closed their doors in March, with brief performances of some of the most theatrical works in the country like Hamilton or the Mean Girls, as well as a bit of the show “Radio City Rockettes”, which this season has canceled its performances.

The organization also did not want to break with the tradition of the inclusion of new floats and this year the producer Warner Bross presented a float of the eternal persecution of the cartoon Tom and Jerry, and the cosmetics brand Olay participated with a construction of an astronaut that it demanded a greater participation of women in scientific disciplines.

Source: EFE and AP

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