Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade: Pikachu Balloon Will Signal Some Kind of Surprise for Pokemon Fans

The Pikachu float will fly again at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade this year, and it may signal a special announcement for Pokémon fans. On Monday, The Pokémon Company announced that this year's parade performance will be bigger and better than ever and hinted that it might have something special for die-hard fans. So far, there is only speculation on what the big news might be.

A massive Pikachu balloon will hover through Manhattan on Thursday, and will reportedly be accompanied by "a troupe of dancing Pikachu [that] will deliver an electrifying performance... Pokémon fans will want to tune in to find out why they're making a special appearance this year," read the cryptic press release, signaling big news to some eager fans. Many assumed this meant something major for the franchise, but that does not narrow it down much since Pokémon has a firm foothold in TV, movies, video games and just about every other aspect of culture.

A report by Polygon suggests that the big announcement could be anything from an update to the Pokémon Go app, to new details on a long-anticipated Detective Pikachu sequel. There could also be news about Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield, the latest video games in the franchise, or perhaps a new game altogether.

As Pokémon fans know, there are also trading cards, anime, and other media crossovers to consider. Then again, this teaser is so open-ended that it could mean anything — perhaps even brand new territory for the franchise.

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Whatever the case, Pikachu is sure to be a major draw for this year's Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Like many other events, the parade has been modified this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, which is spiking alarmingly around the country. The parade will not be the traditional 2.5-mile trek through Manhattan, but "Instead it will be reimagined over the course of several days as a television-only event leading up to the live Thanksgiving Day broadcast that will feature the breadth of Macy’s signature elements," according to Macy's website.

Most importantly, the event will not have packed streets full of spectators or crowds of workers traveling together. Social distancing remains the most important step to preventing the spread of the virus, and public health officials are worried that Thanksgiving will become a dangerous event for spreading the virus, with families traditionally gathering close. For the latest information on the coronavirus pandemic, visit the CDC's website.