New York’s mayor Bill De Blasio got a lot of hate online after announcing that the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will be “reinvented” and held virtually this year due to safety concerns around the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
“It will not be the same parade we are used to,” De Blasio said at a press conference on Monday. “It will be a different kind of event. [Macy’s is] reinventing the event for this moment in history.”
The mayor attempted to downplay the scale of these changes by reminding citizens that the fourth of July fireworks show was also greatly scaled back.
You will be able to feel the spirit and the joy of that day on television, online — not a live parade, but something that will really give us that warmth and that great feeling we have on Thanksgiving Day
The Macy’s Thanksgiving celebration is an iconic city event, being cancelled for the first time in about a century, and many Americans were upset with the news. The brunt of the blame was laid on De Blasio as NYC’s head honcho does directly the day-today of the anti-coronavirus lockdown and safety measures.
Twitter users viewed the event’s cancellation as the “tearing asunder” of a great tradition. Others made the argument that that a good celebration could give the city a “moral boost” much needed amid the pandemic and the economic crisis.
Another point of American tradition torn asunder…so long Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. https://t.co/Ur1ZoeF3YV
— Raymond Arroyo (@RaymondArroyo) September 14, 2020
Some people saw it as a part of the ever-ongoing American ‘culture war’ supposedly happening between the nation’s liberals and conservatives. They speculated that “Grinch DeBlasio” was “itching to cancel Christmas” next, comparing the mayor to the iconic character from a children’s book by Dr. Seuss.
— Beverly A. Pekala (@PekalaLaw) September 14, 2020
Next up for @NYCMayor : Christmas.
You’re a mean one, Mr. Grinch pic.twitter.com/yTflZwMGwp
— Pamela! 🇺🇸 Parler: @trbltrbl (@_trbltrbl_) September 14, 2020
Many commentators were upset specifically over the parade being cancelled while the mayor didn’t install any extra measures to prevent large gatherings in form of the ongoing protests.
No Thanksgiving parade but we can protest, riot and loot without fear is that accurate ?
— john smith (@johnsmucket) September 14, 2020
Despite the outrage being directed personally at De Blasio, neither him nor Macy’s confirming it was the mayor’s office who chose to “reinvent” the proceedings.
First held in 1924 the Thanksgiving Day Parade is a local tradition, which every year attracted millions of visitors. At the same time, New York has been one of the world’s worst coronavirus hotspots since the beginning of the pandemic. As of Monday, there have been more than 470 thousand cases and more than 19 thousand confirmed deaths.
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