Before you carve into your turkey, check out the annual America’s Thanksgiving Parade, presented by Art Van, celebrating 90 years of family fun and free holiday entertainment.
Starting at 8:50 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 24, the three-mile parade will strut down Woodward Avenue, starting at Kirby and Woodward and ending at Congress Street. Be sure to bundle up! Michiganders are no stranger to chilly weather, with a forecast of possible showers and a high of 48 degrees Thanksgiving morning.
Can’t make it down to the D? Catch the coverage on WDIV-TV Local 4 at 10 a.m.
“Thanksgiving morning, over a million people line Woodward for three miles, 30-40 deep in some areas,” says Tony Michaels, the president and CEO of The Parade Company. “It’s a huge television audience. The most important thing about all of this is how the parade touches the lives of kids and families.”
This year’s co-grand marshals are comedian and Detroit native Keegan-Michael Key and Judge Damon Keith.
Spectators can expect to see floats, balloons, marching bands, live entertainment, a guest appearance by Santa Claus and more!
Michaels describes the 2016 theme, ‘90 Years Together,’ bringing a diverse group of individuals and families together from every age and area.
July through Thanksgiving, The Parade Company works to build and restore parade floats. This year, the event sports eight new floats, the ‘largest load to date,’ according to Michaels, adding to the 62-unit parade. One of which is the Quicken Loans float.
“This is our second large float we are doing for Quicken Loans and it’s going to be a great reveal and a great addition,” Michaels explained.
Michaels explained how The Parade Company has doubled their sponsorships in the past six years. Art Van, Quicken Loans, Ford, DTE and Huffington Bank are just a few of the committed companies determined to keep the parade afloat (get it?)!
“My whole goal in life is to ensure that The Parade Company is here forever,” Michaels said. “We are bringing in more money. We are putting away a lot of money, and we’re making sure if there is ever a downturn, that this company is clicking along like a machine because it has to be here for the city of Detroit.”
The parade is about Detroit, Michaels asserts. Broadcasting in 166 cities, the event is a symbol of the city, the region and the entire state.
“We’re able to put the city of Detroit on a stage, which we all know is so important right now: To show great things coming out of the city of Detroit,” he added.
Presented by Strategic Staffing Solutions, the Detroit 2016 Turkey Trot kicks off the parade.
For the past 34 years, the Turkey Trot has been a family tradition in downtown Detroit, offering a variety of races like the 1 Mile, 5K and 10K run.
According to The Parade Company website, the Turkey Trot is the “parade before the parade,” with thousands of participants dressed in holiday costumes.
Be sure to come early to reserve your spot and check out the website for a map of the parade and downtown parking locations and road closures.
Don’t forget to hashtag #DetroitParade in all your social media pics and posts!