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Back in action: You’ll be able to see Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in-person this year

Sept. 09, 2021
4 min read
Back in action: You’ll be able to see Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in-person this year
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Fall is a special time in New York City — the weather gets cooler, the leaves start to change and the start of the holiday season ushers in large-scale events that draw locals and tourists alike. One of those events is the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, and after a drastically downsized television event last year, Macy's is bringing back the full parade for 2021.

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“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, in a press release. “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.”

While the event's full 2.5-mile parade route and iconic giant balloons are back this year, there are still a few changes to note. First, the number of participants will be reduced by up to 20%. Second, there are a number of COVID-19 safety procedures being put into place for the event.

According to Macy's press release, "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."

Related: CDC updated mask recommendations for vaccinated people

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Additionally, all volunteer participants and staff will be vaccinated with only a few exceptions — which will be made at Macy's discretion and require COVID-19 testing by a Macy's medical consultant. Social distancing measures will also be put into place at all Parade operations locations, inside and outside.

Right now, the plan is for the marching band, cheer and specialty group performances that were originally slated for 2020's production to perform at this year's event. The Balloon Inflation event is still under consideration, and the exact viewing locations, entry guidelines and restrictions will be announced in November.

Macy's did pull off a successful event earlier this year with its Macy's 4th of July Fireworks production. It's possible we'll see a similar setup for containing crowds and promoting social distancing at this event, but there could also be additional restrictions for non-vaccinated individuals.

It's exciting to see more events returning to in-person productions this year, even if these events come with additional precautions and limitations due to the continued risk of COVID-19.

However, even with a smaller production, more crowd restrictions and COVID-19 safety procedures in place, this is still going to be a packed event with hundreds of thousands of people potentially attending (in a typical year, up to 3 million people line up along the parade route to watch in-person). Of course, you can also watch the parade from afar on NBC-TV from 9 a.m. to noon across all time zones.

“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 in a press release. “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.”

Featured image by NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
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  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
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Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

    75,000 bonus miles
  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,300+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and the Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023