New York

Thanksgiving parade that is not confused by snow and wind is all the rage

Whether it’s snow, rain, gusts, or the Great Depression, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has been canceled in 96 years of history. It looks like it’s ready to survive the pandemic on Thursday.

Other New York City parades include St. Patrick’s Day Parade, Pride March, and Puerto Rican Day Parade, which are so crowded that city and state officials have determined it dangerous to continue. It is decreasing one by one. Labor Day’s West Indian-American Day parade was forced to virtualize for similar reasons.

However, the Thanksgiving parade is sailing. This is mainly due to the fact that millions of people who normally attend were told to stay at home and the event was reduced to television shows.

Therefore, the parade route will be one block long instead of two miles. High school bands across the country do not march, and instead of about 2,000 balloon handlers coordinating, there are only about 130.

But this year’s parade staging is a layup, and anyone who thinks it’s not the only feat of Logistic Legedemain is deeply immersed in the holiday punch.

Starting in March, Macy’s and NBC parade planners broadcasting the event had to get rid of the carefully tuned scripts and come up with a whole new blueprint. This has evolved as new questions emerge daily.

If you use a squat utility vehicle instead, what is the physics of balloon flight that one usually deals with?

When and how do you perform coronavirus tests and temperature checks on the 960 people working on the parade?

How do you arrange a socially distant stage number that captures Broadway magic without endangering someone’s health?

How can I get rid of this year’s involvement in balloon handlers and marching bands who see the parade somewhere between lifelong dreams and religious events?

“What I knew about Thanksgiving a month ago wasn’t what I knew now,” said Susan Tercelo, executive producer of the Macy’s event. “How do you plan to happen in June, when you don’t know where the country is going?”

History sets high standards for canceling the annual parade since 1924, except for the three years during World War II.

Doug Vaughn, Executive Vice President of Special Programs at NBC Entertainment, said: “We may have been crazy about thinking this way all the time.

Instead, planners contact city and state officials to respond as evidence of a second wave in New York, reducing the number of second attendees from 25% to 12% of the normal workforce. I reduced it. Instead of about 8,000 people working on a packed parade route each year, the efforts of 960 people are spread over three days of filming.

The giant balloon was cut from 16 to 12, and the float was cut from 26 to 18.

At some point, the parade planner was imagining a shortened route that would allow some travel through the streets of Manhattan. However, it was still judged to be too much invitation for the crowd, and officials eventually landed on the parade route stub on 34th Avenue between 6th and 7th Avenues. The result is, in effect, much of the parade a pre-recorded Macy’s flagship department store-based broadcast set.

Macy’s is firmly determined that the audience will not see anything on Thursday, and police officers have been assigned to disperse possible crowds. Still, police officers have reduced the details of regular parades by 80%, said Terence A. Monahan, head of the department.

“It’s a much less job for us, it’s for sure,” he said. “But rather than protecting the shows people watch on TV, we want to challenge the protection of hundreds of thousands of people enjoying the parade.”

The high school and college marching bands selected for the lineup are also disappointing. Parade creative producer Wesley Watley usually travels around the country to surprise band members with the news that they have won a spot on the parade route.

This year, his tour ended before the start.

Parade planners touted the idea of ​​sending a film crew to shoot a marching band on their lawn, but they required a lot of cross-country trips, and often young band members went to school for months. I’m studying in a remote location away from home and can’t practice directly.

After all, Whatley called the band director on the news that he couldn’t come this year but was saving their place for the 2021 parade.

Also, being at home is most balloon handlers. Typically, each giant balloon, from 49-foot-high astronaut Snoopy to 53-foot-high Pikachu, is guided by 80-100 uniformed handlers. These numbers were not accepted during the pandemic.

Therefore, the parade team planned to organize five utility vehicles to offset the weight of the balloon handler (usually only one of these vehicles would be centered on each giant balloon). .. The parade’s engineering team used the weight of the vehicle and two “standard” 175 lbs (totaling 2,985 lbs) to calculate the proper formation of a handler under the balloon, said the parade’s production director. Kathleen Wright says.

Approximately 25 people are assigned to each large balloon, walking along long block parade routes and riding utility vehicles.

One of the handlers who made the cut was Macy’s Kramer, an employee of Macy’s who has been on the balloon team for 36 years. She is a balloon pilot, walking about 30 yards backwards in front of the balloon and using hand signals and whistles to direct the handler.

But this year, Macy’s switched to a handheld electric whistle because she wore a mask and found it too difficult to operate the whistle while practicing.

The balloon is inflated overnight on the broadcast set before flying on 34th Avenue. Some people make their trips live on Thanksgiving Day. Others will have pre-recorded flights.

“It’s a short parade this year, but on Monday the stomach begins to stir and continues to stir until it contracts,” Kramer said.

In another bow to a special year, Macy’s organized it to allow several groups whose parades were canceled to participate in Thanksgiving events. That’s why TV parade watchers can pre-tape the New York Fire Department’s emerald society band in bagpipes and bear fur hats, as well as the lesbian and gay big apple corp marching band in the rainbow sash. ..

Dancers, stilt pedestrians, and steelpan players who would have lit up the Eastern Parkway for the carnival were recorded on Wednesday. However, the process can take hours, so we plan to start making up on Tuesday night, said Andrea Smith, vice president of the West Indian-American Japan Carnival Association. She said she hoped the make-up session would resemble the preparation and feel of Brooklyn’s typical carnival eve.

“There is no substitute for that feeling, but we are doing our best to get as close as possible,” she said.

By replacing the absence of the parade in the last few months, the event is like an ode to New York, once the epicenter of a pandemic in the United States and a cultural beacon that has darkened significantly in recent months. Will be. As a result, visitors to the Lincoln Center cannot see this year’s “George Balanchine’s Nutcracker,” but viewers of the parade wore a pink tutu by Ashley Bouder, the principal dancer of the New York City Ballet. You can see him acting as a sugar plum fairy. Similarly, the numbers for the four Broadway shows closed after March will be recorded at Times Square prior to Thanksgiving Week and will be part of the parade.

And despite the cancellation of “Christmas Spectacular” at Radio City Music Hall, 18 of the 80 rockets will appear in wooden soldier costumes with custom-made masks. (That particular Rockets number was chosen to mean that there is no kickline due to limited contact between dancers.)

Hovering over the hectic planning process, New Yorkers and Americans feel that they need this cheerful expression of joy when there’s a lot of sadness.

That mission was also apparent in 1963, six days after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, when Macy’s decided to oppose the cancellation of the parade in a national mourning.

The parade continued again in 2001 as New York struggled to recover from the 9/11 attack. What appealed to me at that moment was noticed with some patriotic touches. For example, the Statue of Liberty Float replaced Tom Turkey, and Santa’s sleigh red and white candy cane wore red, white, and blue ribbons.

On Thursday, after this year’s parade, planners say they will start thinking about next year’s parade almost immediately. Is it another pandemic version, socially distant, masked, fun-reduced kind, or is it something people can take their kids with?

“Hopefully, the 95th anniversary of the parade will look very different from this year,” said NBC Vaughan.

Thanksgiving parade that is not confused by snow and wind is all the rage

Source link Thanksgiving parade that is not confused by snow and wind is all the rage

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