It won't be just the balloons, marching bands and floats on display in the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. The laws of physics will also be on parade.
For the first time in its more than 80-year history, the parade route is bypassing Broadway, which cuts a diagonal slice through Manhattan, as it makes its way south from the Upper West Side to the finish at Macy's flagship store in Herald Square.
Instead, participants will use a new route, one that traverses the grid of the city's streets and avenues, includes turns around five corners, and is slightly longer than in previous years.
The demands of the new route will challenge the marching bands and handlers of the parade's signature balloons, for whom precision is key, said Brian Schwartz, physics professor at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.
"There really is a lot of science" to it, he said.
"If they're taking a new route, they're going to have to be really careful in the turning of the corners," he said.
The new 2.65-mile route came about because parts of Broadway have been closed to vehicular traffic, making it off limits to floats this year.