CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - The 74th Novant Health Thanksgiving Day Parade will be virtual this year due to COVID-19.
The annual celebration of the Thanksgiving holiday is one of the longest-running events in Charlotte. This year, the parade will air on WBTV on Thanksgiving Day, with a broadcast featuring “best of” segments from previous years, including floats, marching bands, balloons and other performances.
“The decision to cancel the in-person parade comes after discussion with health authorities, public officials, and other industry experts,” parade organizers said. “The uncertainty of COVID-19 conditions and public safety protocols in effect at the time of the parade drove the decision.”
The broadcast, which will air at 4 p.m. on WBTV, will also feature local and regional performers, who are a staple of the Novant Health Thanksgiving Day Parade. Additional segments may include virtual all-star performances, parade history and fun facts, community giving back, highlighting front-line heroes and even health cooking features.
Parade organizers announced the virtual transition in August.
“While we’re saddened that the parade won’t be live in Uptown this year, we know that moving the event to a TV special is what’s best for the community,” said Robert Krumbine, chief creative officer at Charlotte Center City Partners. “The best part about the parade has always been its ability to bring the community together, whether in person or virtually. Just know that the 75th anniversary event next year – the diamond anniversary – will be spectacular!”
Jesse Cureton, executive vice president and chief consumer officer for Novant Health, says a virtual parade is the best way to keep neighbors and loved ones safe.
Last year, more than 100,000 people lined the streets of uptown Charlotte as costumed characters and vibrant floats followed a mile-long route for the Novant Health Thanksgiving Day Parade.