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Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade returning in person this year

A view of the Tom Turkey float at

A view of the Tom Turkey float at the TV-only Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in 2020.  Credit: Getty Images for Macy's Inc./Eugene Gologursky

The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is returning as an in-person event for 2021, a year after being curtailed because of the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, the department store announced Wednesday.

The parade is scheduled for Nov. 25 from 9 a.m. to noon.

"It’ll be another epic start to the holiday season with giant balloons, fantastic floats & amazing performers," Macy's said on its website.

The route, lineup and other details are still being worked out. In 2020, nearly every quintessential city parade — for St. Patrick's Day, Israel, Pride and Puerto Rico, among others — was canceled to minimize the spread of the virus.

Speaking at his daily news conference Wednesday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called the return of the parade "a great moment for the comeback of this city." He suggested the parade's return was almost certain: "that's looking like a good news situation."

The Macy's Fourth of July fireworks show had also been canceled for 2020 but was brought back for 2021.

The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade dates to 1924 and has proceeded almost every year since. It was canceled only a handful of times, including during World War II, with supplies for the balloons donated to the war effort.

And the 2020 parade was a broadcast-only event with almost no live spectators: The NYPD blocked off streets to deter spectators from gathering.

As recently as 2019, Macy's said that the parade typically draws 3.5 million spectators and 50 million viewers watching remotely to see dozens of floats, balloons, performers, marching bands and other entertainment.

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