Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade takes flight in virus times

APTOPIX_Macy's_Thanksgiving_Parade_05898 The Boss Baby balloon is deflated as it ends its appearance during the modified Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York, Thursday, Nov. 26, 2020. The annual parade goes on but only after great changes as compared to previous years due to the current deadly pandemic.
Macy's_Thanksgiving_Parade_60170 The Santa Claus float that is part of the modified Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is seen from the Empire State Building in New York, Thursday, Nov. 26, 2020. Due to the pandemic, crowds of onlookers were not allowed to attend the annual parade.
Macy's_Thanksgiving_Parade_48010 The characters Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus are helped from their float at the end of the modified Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York, Thursday, Nov. 26, 2020. Due to the pandemic, crowds of onlookers were not allowed to attend the annual parade.
Macy's_Thanksgiving_Parade_94053 A large balloon appears through a narrow passageway from a street adjacent to the parade route during the modified Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York, Thursday, Nov. 26, 2020. Due to the pandemic, crowds of onlookers were not allowed to attend the annual parade.
Macy's_Thanksgiving_Parade_90587 The Boss Baby balloon, viewed from a barricade two blocks away, makes an appearance during the modified Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York, Thursday, Nov. 26, 2020. Due to the pandemic, crowds of onlookers were not allowed to attend the annual parade.
Macy's_Thanksgiving_Parade_87275 People watch the modified Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade from about two blocks away in New York, Thursday, Nov. 26, 2020. Due to the pandemic, crowds of onlookers were not allowed to attend the annual parade.
Macy's_Thanksgiving_Parade_50298 Floats that are part of the modified Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade are seen from the Empire State Building in New York, Thursday, Nov. 26, 2020. Due to the pandemic, crowds of onlookers were not allowed to attend the annual parade.
Macy's_Thanksgiving_Parade_53440 People attempt to take photos as the last floats that are part of the modified Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade move away in New York, Thursday, Nov. 26, 2020. Due to the pandemic, crowds of onlookers were not allowed to attend the annual parade.
Macy's_Thanksgiving_Parade_41576 A New York City police officer takes a photo for a passerby as the modified Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade moves along a few blocks away in the background, in New York, Thursday, Nov. 26, 2020. Due to the pandemic, crowds of onlookers were not allowed to attend the annual parade.
Macy's_Thanksgiving_Parade_20027 Floats that are part of the modified Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade are seen from the Empire State Building in New York, Thursday, Nov. 26, 2020. Due to the pandemic, no crowds of onlookers were allowed to attend the annual parade.
Macy's_Thanksgiving_Parade_94217 West 34th Street is blocked to pedestrians and traffic as the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is underway about a block west in New York, Thursday, Nov. 26, 2020. Due to the pandemic, crowds of onlookers were not allowed to attend the annual parade.
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NEW YORK (AP) — The balloons were in the sky and the marching bands took to the streets for the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on Thursday, but coronavirus restrictions meant it was without the throngs of people usually scrambling for a view.

Instead of its typical path through Manhattan, this year’s parade was kept to the area in front of Macy’s flagship store and aimed at a television audience instead of live crowds.

There were some familiar balloon faces, of course, including Snoopy, Ronald McDonald, and SpongeBob SquarePants.

But the bigger balloons were missing the numerous handlers who would normally be walking underneath and holding the ropes. This year, they were attached to vehicles that kept them moving and decreased the number of people needed.

A number of entertainers performed, including Pentatonix, Keke Palmer and Sofia Carson, and a slew of Broadway shows were represented in taped performances from their casts.

Even with the pandemic protocols, the fact that the parade took place made it a rare festivity in a city that has seen most of its major events cancelled over the last year because of the virus.

The parade organizers recognized that reality, including representatives of some of the New York City parades that hadn’t been able to happen — the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, the Mermaid Parade, the Puerto Rican Day Parade and NYC Pride March.

Copyright © 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

Performers prepare at the 94th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade® on November 26, 2020 in New York City. (Getty Images for Macy’s Inc./Eugene Gologursky)

Al Roker and Butter Man appear at the 94th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade® on November 26, 2020 in New York City. (Getty Images for Macy’s Inc./Eugene Gologursky)

Bebe Rexha atop the Jennie-O float at the 94th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade® on November 26, 2020 in New York City. (Getty Images for Macy’s Inc./Eugene Gologursky)

Karol G and Olay’s “Her Future is STEM-sational” float pictured at the 94th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade® on November 26, 2020 in New York City.

Tori Kelly attends the 94th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade® on November 26, 2020 in New York City. (Getty Images for Macy’s Inc./Eugene Gologursky)

Keke Palmer attends the 94th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade® on November 26, 2020 in New York City. (Getty Images for Macy’s Inc./Eugene Gologursky)

A child wearing a mask sits on her father’s shoulder to catch a glimpse of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 26, 2020 in New York City.

A New York City police officer takes a photo for a passerby as the modified Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade moves along a few blocks away in the background, in New York, Thursday, Nov. 26, 2020. Due to the pandemic, crowds of onlookers were not allowed to attend the annual parade. (AP/Craig Ruttle)

The “Boss Baby” balloon flies during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 26, 2020 in New York City. (Getty Images/John Lamparski)

Spectators in costume stand at the staging area barricades during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 26, 2020 in New York City. (Getty Images/John Lamparski)

People attempt to take photos as the last floats that are part of the modified Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade move away in New York, Thursday, Nov. 26, 2020. Due to the pandemic, crowds of onlookers were not allowed to attend the annual parade. (AP/Craig Ruttle)

Participants dancing in the modified Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade are seen from a barricade about two blocks away in New York, Thursday, Nov. 26, 2020. Due to the pandemic, crowds of onlookers were not allowed to attend the annual parade. (AP/Craig Ruttle)

Spectators take photos as a large balloon makes its way through the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade behind heavy police barricades on November 26, 2020 in New York City. (Getty Images/Scott Heins)

People watch the modified Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade from about two blocks away in New York, Thursday, Nov. 26, 2020. Due to the pandemic, crowds of onlookers were not allowed to attend the annual parade. (AP/Craig Ruttle)

The Boss Baby balloon is deflated as it ends its appearance during the modified Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York, Thursday, Nov. 26, 2020. The annual parade goes on but only after great changes as compared to previous years due to the current deadly pandemic. (AP/Craig Ruttle)

A float carrying the characters Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus rolls along at it nears the end of the modified Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York, Thursday, Nov. 26, 2020. Due to the pandemic, crowds of onlookers were not allowed to attend the annual parade. (AP/Craig Ruttle)

Floats that are part of the modified Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade are seen from the Empire State Building in New York, Thursday, Nov. 26, 2020. Due to the pandemic, no crowds of onlookers were allowed to attend the annual parade.

A police canine rests on a float that is part of the modified Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York, Thursday, Nov. 26, 2020. Due to the pandemic, crowds of onlookers were not allowed to attend the annual parade. (AP/Craig Ruttle)

A marching band waits along 34th Street for their turn to perform during a pre-taping of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in front of the flagship store in New York, Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020. At last year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, the big fear was high wind. This year it’s a deadly pandemic. But the show will go one thanks to an overhaul and creative thinking. (AP/Mary Altaffer)

Performers walk off the set during a pre-taping of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in front of the flagship store in New York, Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020. At last year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, the big fear was high wind. This year it’s a deadly pandemic. But the show will go one thanks to an overhaul and creative thinking. (AP/Mary Altaffer)

Performers walk off the set during a pre-taping of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in front of the flagship store in New York, Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020. At last year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, the big fear was high wind. This year it’s a deadly pandemic. But the show will go one thanks to an overhaul and creative thinking. (AP/Mary Altaffer)

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