The holiday season will look different in New York City this year amid the coronavirus pandemic. Mayor Bill de Blasio has hinted that the 2020 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony will not have the same over the top appeal as previous years.

During a press conference on Thursday, de Blasio stated that the parade, which is typically attended by millions of spectators who crowd the NYC sidewalks to see giant character balloons, will undergo some major alterations in November.

“I think everything is going to be different is the simple answer,” de Blasio told reporters. “I think some is going to be virtual, it might be some small in-person pieces, spread-out pieces. It’s not going to look at all, of course, like what we are used to. But the important thing is the traditions will be kept in some way.” 

The mayor’s comments followed Macy’s reveal that its annual Thanksgiving Day Parade will proceed in a way that abides by the health and safety standards set by New York State.

“For more than 90 years, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has kicked off the holiday season with its signature entertainment spectacle, making it one of the world’s most beloved events,” the company said in a statement. “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 retailer was able to avoid large gatherings during its 2020 Fourth of July fireworks show by launching smaller fireworks displays in each of the five boroughs without announcing the locations to the public.

It remains to be seen how the 2020 Thanksgiving Day parade will be affected by the pandemic. Macy’s plans to share more details about the annual event this fall. 

Macy's Thanksgiving Parade The Pillsbury Doughboy balloon floats on Sixth Avenue during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on Nov. 27, 2014, in New York City. Photo: Getty Images