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Pandemic results in changes to longtime holiday traditions

Posted at 8:01 AM, Nov 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-15 11:01:43-05

Home for the holidays has new meaning this year as COVID-19 continues to change the way we live and how we celebrate.

One annual staple you can count on is the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

"You will be seeing something live happening on Thanksgiving Day," says parade executive producer Susan Tercero. "It's going to be shortened and it's going to be something that's only for the viewers at home."

The scaled-down parade will feature new balloons and floats.

Brookfield Properties has worked for months to ensure visiting Santa Claus will be safe.

"We kind of put that natural barrier in front of him to keep them six feet away, but then yet create a fantastic photo to capture that memory for the families," says Brookfield's Rocell Viniard.

For parents who are not comfortable venturing out, virtual visits with the big guy are available at

"When mom and dad book the session, you'll be able to tell us a little bit about the kids, their names, what are they doing really well at home," Viniard says.

Though Times Square will be closed to the public, the annual ball drop will still go on. Organizers thought it was important to continue the ritual that happens every year on New Year's Eve.

"We all are really one going to want to say goodbye to 2020 and hello to 2021. It's been a very tough year," says Times Square Alliance President Tim Tompkins.