Covid Live Updates:Floats and Dancing Return to N.Y.C. for Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade

A giant, animatronic turkey is once again waddling down Central Park West at the head of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, which returned on Thursday in its full, helium-filled glory.

Last holiday, the coronavirus forced officials to order a one-block long, nearly crowd-free version of the parade, which typically runs from 77th Street on the Upper West Side to Herald Square in Midtown Manhattan. The parade, which began in 1924 and is in its 95th iteration, has been canceled rarely, including during World War II.

Along the 2.5 mile route will stroll over 4,500 volunteers towing among them 15 giant helium balloons, old favorites like Smokey Bear, and newcomers like Ada Twist, Scientist, from the popular storybook, who clocks in at 51-feet tall.

The return of such sights — of large crowds, of public joy, of celebrities on floats and beloved characters transformed into balloons — felt deeply symbolic for many who anticipated the spectacle.

“Moments of celebration are important,” said Leroy Lamar, who came with his family to see the parade from Atlanta. “And it is important that we do them together.”

The 95th Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on Thursday is notably different from last year’s limited celebration, which was reduced to just one block, with spectators discouraged from coming out.

Around 6,500 people will come together to work on this year’s parade, which will follow a 2.5-mile route through New York City, starting on the Upper West Side of Manhattan and ending in Midtown. Everyone who participates in the parade must be vaccinated, but there is no vaccination requirement for spectators.

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Here’s what you need to know about this year’s festivities.

Who will broadcast the event?
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