The route stretched once again across 2.5 miles of Manhattan streets, as spectators — who were not allowed in 2020 — waved to performers from the sidelines. Costumed handlers returned to walk giant balloons, and high school and college marching bands from all over the country, prohibited last year to cut down on travel, were back in full swing.
Still, there were safety precautions — workers and volunteers were required to wear masks and be vaccinated against COVID-19. Spectators were encouraged to wear masks, as well, per NBC 4.
During the broadcast, President Biden called NBC's Al Roker to declare that "after two years, we're back. America is back," he said. "There's nothing we're unable to overcome."