By Lauren DiGregorio
2020 is the year of cancellations and altered traditions, and the Thanksgiving Day Parade was no exception to this new norm. In true 2020 fashion, the weather was not ideal for a parade. Instead of the two and a half-mile march, it was confined to one block on 34th street in front of Macy’s Herald Square store. This decision was made to specifically prevent a crowd of spectators from forming, yet some people still gathered.
Many iconic features of the parade were either pre-recorded, clips from the 2019 parade or digitally added. There were only about five real balloons that were filmed live, including the Macy’s star and Boss Baby. To also prevent the spread of COVID-19, Broadway performances were all pre-recorded. Performers quarantined for two weeks before rehearsing and recording, and it was the first time the Broadway performers got to return to their professions since the pandemic shut down the theaters in March. Some of the featured shows included “Hamilton” and “Mean Girls.” The iconic Rockettes were able to perform as well.
To make up for the changes, there were many add-ons to this year's parade. Due to the pandemic canceling other parades, the organizers decided to highlight them. Viewers got to see features from the Mermaid Parade, St. Patrick’s Day Parade, Puerto Rican Parade, and the Pride March. Another great aspect was the inclusion of a Native American tribe. The parade featured the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, and they performed a ritual dance.
“The tradition of the tree is still happening despite all the setbacks this year has brought, and a large number of New Yorkers are proud that at least the symbol of the holidays is still being put on display...”
Lastly, through Verizon, they created the “Parade Portal,” which made it possible to have a 360 degree perspective of the parade from a phone. Even with all of the COVID-19 restrictions, it was still a parade to remember.
“With all the regulations they had to deal with, I think the parade turned out better than expected,” said junior James Marzano.
The 2020 parade finished with tradition when Santa Claus ended the show as the country prepares for the holidays.
Another holiday staple, the Rockefeller Center Tree, has prompted criticism. This year’s tree was disheveled when the setup began; it seemed to be missing limbs, branches, and its usual grandness. Some are going as far as to state it is the final symbol of all the 2020 chaos. An owl was unexpectedly found in the tree a few days after its arrival. The owl, now deemed as “Rocky,” was eventually rescued and $15,000 was raised for the wildlife sanctuary that will be taking care of him.
Source by Jada Seto
The infamous Christmas tree was off to a rough start, but eventually was presented to New York City in all its glory.
Now that the tree has been lit, viewers are impressed with the turnaround of the appearance and it seems as if holiday spirits are on the rise. In addition, the architectural masterpiece known as the Vessel was decorated with lights and provided a great opportunity to visit the city while also staying outside and following CDC guidelines for the pandemic.
People who wish to visit the tree in person must make a reservation and are asked to wear masks and remain socially distant. There is also a time limit for those who wish to take photos and enjoy the tree and festive surroundings.
The Rockefeller ice rink is also open with proper COVID-19 regulations and precautions. Many are not traveling to physically see the tree because they can see it on TV or online. The fact that the tradition of the tree is still happening despite all the setbacks this year has brought makes a large number of New Yorkers proud that at least the symbol of the holidays is still being put on display.
“I think it is cool how we have something that people from all over the world come to see, just a train ride away. Another reason to be proud to be a New Yorker,” said junior Alicia Koshey.
Source by Olivia Wong
New York City's beautiful lights are a sight to see during the holiday season.