By replacing the absences from the parades of the past months, this event will become in a way an ode to New York, both the epicenter of the pandemic in the United States and the cultural beacon that has largely obscured in recent months. So while visitors to Lincoln Center may not see “The Nutcracker by George Balanchine,” this year parade viewers will be able to see Ashley Bouder, a principal dancer with the New York City Ballet, perform the role of Sugarplum Fairy in a tutu. pink. Likewise, the numbers of four Broadway shows, which have been closed since March, were taped in Times Square ahead of Thanksgiving week and will be part of the parade.
And despite the cancellation of the “Christmas Spectacular” at Radio City Music Hall, 18 of the 80 Rockettes will appear in their wooden soldier costumes with custom masks. (This Rockettes number was chosen because the dancers have limited contact with each other, which means no kick line.)
Skimming through the hectic planning process has been the feeling that New Yorkers and Americans alike need this display of lively joy at a time when there is a lot to be sad about.
This mission was also evident in 1963, six days after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, when in the midst of national mourning, Macy decided not to cancel the parade.
The parade resumed in 2001, as New York City struggled to recover from the 9/11 attacks. The excitement of the moment was noted in a few patriotic touches: a Lady Liberty float replaced Tom Turkey, for example, and the red and white candy canes in Santa’s sleigh wore ribbons of red, white and blue.