NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is back this year, with precautions.
The City of New York and Macy's made the announcement about the parade's return on Wednesday.
This is the parade's 95th year.
Last year's celebration was made for TV only, but this year's parade will include spectators and march on the streets of Manhattan on Thursday, November 25 beginning at 9 a.m. On Thanksgiving Day.
"Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade has been a New York City institution for more than nine decades, growing to become an icon of American pop culture as it annually marks the official start of the holiday season," said Will Coss, Executive Producer of Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. "For our 95th celebration, we are delighted to return this cherished holiday tradition closer to its original form as we march down the streets of New York City and into the homes of a nationwide audience."
The spectacle will once again delight New York City spectators and a national television audience with its signature mix of giant character helium balloons, fantastic floats, marching bands, performance groups, celebrities, clowns, and the one-and-only Santa Claus.
"We are thrilled to welcome back in its full form the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, a world-renowned celebration that ushers in the magic of being in New York City during the holiday season," said New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. "We applaud Macy's work to creatively continue this beloved tradition last year and look forward to welcoming back Parade watchers to experience it safely, live and in person this November."
To once again safely produce the annual Thanksgiving Day celebration, Macy's partnered closely with the City and State of New York to create an event production plan that would ensure health and safety practices are aligned with current CDC guidelines, as well as local and state government protocols.
The health and well-being of participants and spectators continues to be Macy's number one priority.
Following the most up-to-date health guidelines, the City of New York will manage public viewing locations and safety procedures along designated portions of the route with access details to be announced.
For its participants and staff, Macy's will put in place several health and safety procedures across all areas of the production.
2021 Health & Safety procedures include, but are not limited to the following:
- All volunteer participants and staff will be vaccinated. Vaccine verification will be conducted at all back of house entry points. A few exceptions to this procedure may be made at the sole discretion of Macy's and its medical consultant based on select extenuating circumstances. For those rare instances, Macy's medical consultant will administer COVID-19 testing and clear the individual for Parade participation.
- All participants and staff regardless of vaccination status will wear face coverings and additional protective equipment, as warranted by their role. As appropriate, exceptions may include singers, dancers and musicians performing down the route or for the national broadcast.
- Macy's will implement a reduction in the overall number of participants of between 10 to 20 percent (approximately 800 to 1,600 participants).
- Social distancing practices will be in place at all interior/exterior Parade operations including costuming areas, seating and participant check-in.
It's not yet known if the annual balloon inflation event will take place. It's under consideration with details set to be announced in November.
Details on the exact public viewing locations including viewing maps, entry guidelines and restrictions will be announced in November. Spectators are encouraged to check macys.com/parade in advance of their travel to the Parade route.