The 91st Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. 

Eric Liebowitz | NBCUniversal

New York City will host this year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, though the celebration will “not be the same parade we’re used to,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Monday. 

“It will be a different kind of event. They’re reinventing the event for this moment in history, and you’ll be able to feel the spirit and the joy of that day on television, online. Not a live parade but something that will really give us that warmth and that great feeling we have on Thanksgiving Day,” de Blasio said during his daily press briefing. 

Macy’s, which modified its Fourth of July fireworks show this year to protect New Yorkers from the coronavirus, had previously said it plans to do the same for this year’s Thanksgiving celebration.

“Following our successful, safe and innovative production of Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks, it is our intention to similarly reimagine Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade this November,” the company’s website says. To prevent crowding, Macy’s launched its Fourth of July fireworks during unannounced times across the city. 

De Blasio said Macy’s will release more details on the plan later in the day. The company declined to provide CNBC further details.

The holiday parade began in 1924. In 1953, NBC began televising the event, which has become known for its giant balloon characters, floats that often carry celebrity performers and marching bands and other groups from around the country. 

“In this case, it’s really important to keep these traditions continuing. To make sure that history is unbroken,” he said. 

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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has recently cleared more businesses in the Big Apple, including gyms, malls and museums, to reopen with health precautions and reduced capacity to protect against the coronavirus’ spread. New York, once considered the epicenter of the nation’s outbreak, has reported an infection rate below 1% for 37 consecutive days — well below the World Heath Organization’s 5% recommendation for reopening. 

Beginning Sept. 30, New York City restaurants that have been staying afloat through takeout and outdoor dining services over the summer will be allowed to serve customers inside at 25% capacity. Although the businesses will be subject to a number of regulations, it’s the first time since mid-March they’ll be allowed to invite customers to dine inside even as cases declined over the summer. 

During Monday’s press briefing, de Blasio said New York City has fought back the worst of the disease and reopened its economy without having “to take a step back,” unlike other parts of the country. In the coming weeks, the city will unveil its “next big steps” in its road map for reopening, he said. 

“Now we can dream bigger, we can go farther,” de Blasio said. 

The mayor said the “next crucial moment” in the city’s reopening plan includes welcoming its students back to the classroom this fall. New York City public schools, the largest school district in the nation, previously postponed the fall semester for its more than 1.1 million students until Sept. 21 after local labor unions asked for greater Covid-19 protection measures. 

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Disclosure: Comcast’s NBCUniversal is the parent of CNBC and CNBC.com. 



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