NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Like all things 2020, Thanksgiving looks different this year.
The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade had the usual trappings of floats and musical performances, but no crowds.READ MORE: 28-Year-Old Man Burned When Gas Explosion Blows Out Garage At Perth Amboy Home
That didn’t stop families from craning their necks a block away, trying to catch a glimpse of their favorite balloons.
“It just lifts your spirits. It’s Thanksgiving, it’s the start of the holiday season,” Midtown resident Rachel Rebholz told CBS2’s Christina Fan.
Typically, 3.5 million spectators line the 2.5-mile parade route from the Upper West Side to Herald Square. This year, everyone was told to stay home because of the pandemic.
Photo Gallery: 2020 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Minus The Crowd
Parade organizers even reduced the total number of participants by 88%. Instead of handlers, balloons were rigged onto specialty vehicles.
“We actually have vehicles that will carry those large balloons down the street,” Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Executive Producer Susan Tercero.READ MORE: CDC Expected To Recommend Everyone Wear Masks Indoors Where COVID Rates Are High
Colleen Hutchens, who watches every year with her family, was grateful the tradition found a way to carry on.
“Since we do have such a different Thanksgiving this year, I think it’s nice to have that one thing that’s the same,” she said.
Some New Yorkers disappointed with the view dressed up as their own inflatable characters, spreading smiles to spectators. One man posed for pictures as he waddled down Fifth Avenue as a blow-up turkey.
Zeev Kirsh and Kaitlin Lawrence decided to throw their own mini-parade to keep the magic alive.
“We had this vision of him in a turkey costume just holding one balloon, walking down the street, and it brought us so much joy, so we had to make that happen,” said Lawrence.
A miracle on 34th Street.MORE NEWS: Full Lineup Revealed For 'We Love New York City: The Homecoming Concert' In Central Park
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