Follow Us

Macy's cancels annual Santa visit to New York flagship over virus, pausing decades-long tradition

The annual Christmas tradition dates back to the 1860s.

Published: October 23, 2020 9:46am

Updated: October 23, 2020 11:48am

Macy’s has halted its nearly 160-year-old tradition of children coming to visit Santa Claus at its flagship New York store, as a result of the coronavirus.

More than a quarter of a million people each year come to see Santa at Macy’s Herald 

Square store, according to the Associated Press. The crowds of visitors, who often wait in long lines – which wind through hallways, then a maze of holiday displays before talking and taking pictures with Santa,  make it hard to create a safe environment during a pandemic, the company said. 

Santa Claus won’t be at similar Santaland displays at the company’s Chicago and San Francisco stores, the company said. But he will appear at the end of the Macy’s annual , televised Thanksgiving Day parade in New York.

Macy’s has been using Santa Claus to draw crowds to its New York store since the early 1860s, calling itself “The Home of Santa Claus” for decades. And Macy’s had a starring role in the 1947 film “Miracle on 34th Street,” where a girl discovers the real Santa inside the store, the wire service also reports.

Just the News Spotlight