The Macy's Thanksgiving parade has always kicked off the holiday season and now it's officially back...and more importantly for hard-hit retailers this year it signals the beginning of the holiday shopping mad-dash from Thanksgiving to Christmas.

Ever since I was a kid I've wanted to go to the parade in New York City. I remember seeing the movie, "Miracle on 34th Street" and was fascinated by the huge holiday parade with the giant floats.

Last year, due to the coronavirus, the New York City holiday tradition looked a whole lot different than it had in the past. The parade was still broadcast on NBC, but the number of people was reduced significantly, with social distancing, and masks. Also, segments of the parade were prerecorded throughout the city according to NBC News.

The traditional 2.5-mile parade was also shortened and it didn't include a large number of floats, marching bands, and celebrities. By the way, it's a big deal when high schools and college marching bands get invited to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and those that did get an invitation for 2020, will be invited back for 2021.

Parade staff members and volunteers will have to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination this year and face coverings will be required, with some exceptions for singers and other performers.

The biggest part of the parade is obviously the huge trademark balloons and they will return this year. Also back will be the 80-100 handlers trying to keep the giant ballons under control. We'll see how that goes...I'd expect chaos.

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