There is no denying that the holiday season, a favorite time for an overwhelming majority of the American population, will look very different in New York City this year. The annual Macy’s Thanksgiving day parade has not been cancelled. However, the event will follow CDC guidelines to impose restrictions on the usual celebrations. Maximum capacity will decrease by 75%; capacity will be limited to participants 18 years or older. Therefore, no national high school marching bands will participate. Instead, only local professional musicians will make an appearance. Additionally, the event always held the night before the parade when spectators come to watch balloon inflation will be cancelled. The parade will no longer travel from the Upper West Side to Macy’s in Herald Square. Instead, the parade will be broadcasted on television on Thanksgiving Day, but will be pre–recorded over a span of two days in front of Macy’s. Rather than having people walk with the inflatables this year, each balloon will be held down by “an innovative, specially rigged anchor vehicle framework of five specialty vehicles” (VanSchmus/Bennett, Sept. 2020).
The universally known Rockefeller Center Christmas tree will also be on display this year to restore some sense of holiday normalcy. The ice skating rink will also be open, but with a steep decrease in maximum capacity. However, it seems that the lightning ceremony will most likely be cancelled because it would be hard to enforce social distancing measures on the platform around the tree (Frishberg, June 2020). Lastly, the iconic Times Square New Years ball drop will also be solely virtual. No one will be allowed inside the barricades. However, there will be some live performances with social distancing measures in place (CBS, Sept. 2020). From the perspective of one’s eye, New York City will be absolutely nothing like it always is during the holiday season– a city of overcrowded tourism and joy. Nonetheless, it should be well known to the world that NYC’s spirit lies within the people that inhabit it. This has been made clear by the adjustments that have been made; it may not be the same, but we still choose to cherish the season’s religious, cultural, and familial significance. However each person celebrates Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or New Years, NYC will be alive and thriving because an obstacle has never dulled the twinkling spirit of a NYC native. Where there’s a will, there is always a way.
CBS New York. “Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball Drop Will Be Virtual.” CBS New York, CBS New York, 23 Sept. 2020, newyork.cbslocal.com/2020/09/23/times-square-new-years-eve-ball-drop-will-be-virtual/.
Frishberg, Hannah. “Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree to Return, Possibly without Crowds.” New York Post, New York Post, 24 June 2020, nypost.com/2020/06/23/rockefeller-center-christmas-tree-to-return-possibly-without-crowds/.
VanSchmus, Emily, and Jessica Bennett. “The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Will Go Virtual This Year, Company Announces.” Better Homes & Gardens, 14 Sept. 2020, www.bhg.com/thanksgiving/planning/macys-thanksgiving-day-parade/.