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Lip-Syncing in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade: Are you Really Surprised?

Gettyimages | John Lamparski
By Zachary Holt

Every year, we all get excited to see the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. It's a tradition as old as time, one that family members of multiple generations can enjoy with nostalgia as the marching bands play, the musical artists perform, and thousands of people walk floats down the street. Some of the float concepts used in the parade have remained staples since its inception. However, over the last decade or so, and perhaps even before then, there has been one constant, despite changes in the performers and floats: lipsyncing. Are you really surprised, though?

Why the Sudden Outrage?

Giphy | The 93rd Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

If you are surprised, you shouldn't be. This has been occurring for years in the parade. But for some reason, there has been an upsurge in the outrage following the 2019 parade. Why the sudden incessant tweeting about it? There may be no specific way to determine the cause for the most recent outcries on social media, but it's important to first explain why lip-syncing occurs, not just in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, but parades all around the world.

Moving Floats

Giphy | The 93rd Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

It's no science that the floats are moving at near a constant rate with the artists singing the same song or same group of songs over and over again. If you think about it, how much of a sound nightmare would it be if the artist had to stop and restart the same song over and over again, which from a logistical standpoint would be exceedingly difficult to pull off. Instead, the songs are on a pre-recorded track that plays so that operations run smoothly. Yes, it's not really the artists singing, but you get to see them and hear their song. Better than nothing, right?

Cold Weather Temperatures

AFP/Getty Images

The weather in November, especially in New York City, is not the warmest this time of year. While it's simply just cold for the onlookers who make their way out to the streets, it has a different effect on the artists who are participating in the parade, itself. Cold weather is a big problem for singers due to the presence of dryness. When an artist's vocal cords become dry, they're at risk of their voices cracking. So which would you rather have? Your favorite artist lip-syncing, while still maintaining the enjoyable version of your favorite song or your favorite artist butchering it because of the weather?

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