Why Metro Detroiters need to go to America’s Thanksgiving Parade this year

If it wasn’t evident already, there’s a clear division between Americans that’s more pronounced after the presidential election. This year, it’s more important than ever to find a safe space for you and your family to commune and enjoy the holidays, and there’s no better way to usher in the season than with one of the largest parades in the United States.

“The parade is a 90-year tradition here in Detroit and it brings people together in a way like anything else” Tony Michaels, CEO of the Parade Company, tells BLAC at this year’s Hob Nobble Gobble, the kickoff party prior to the parade. “People line up along Woodward Avenue and they’re together and enjoying this morning. It’s happened for 89 years and this will be the 90th. That is so important to our community and it’s really the fabric of our community.”

This year, thousands of spectators will wait along Woodward Avenue on Thanksgiving morning to watch colorful larger than life floats dance in the skies before their very eyes.

The parade’s Grand Marshals are U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Damon Keith and comedian-actor (and Detroit native) Keegan Michael-Key, who’ll lead the parade with a few other celebrities in the mix.

“There's 26 floats, eight of them are brand new and these are all amazing structures built right here at the parade company, every one of them,” Michaels says. “(Singer) Mike Posner’s in the parade, Martha Reeves is in the parade, and we have Olympic gold medalist Allison Schmitt from Canton. We have Aly Raisman, (an) Olympic gold medal gymnast, we have April Ross, one of the (U.S. Olympic team) volleyball players — we thought it would be great to bring April into Detroit. There's just so much going on, there really is.


“We’re just very fortunate, we really are to have all of the support from all the great companies in and around Detroit,” he adds.

In addition to the enormous floats, there will be performances from marching bands and other exciting specialty acts.

The festivities will begin at 8:50 a.m. on Kirby and Woodward and will be broadcasted live at 10 a.m.

And, per tradition, those who can’t make it to the parade can watch live on WDIV, as well as live radio coverage with Paul Smith on WJR.

For more information about the 90th America’s Thanksgiving Parade presented by Art Van, go totheparade.org or call 313-923-7400.

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