The Michigan Thanksgiving Parade Foundation was founded in 1982 for the purpose of staging and perpetuating America’s Thanksgiving Parade®, Michigan’s grandest and most cherished civic event. It is governed by key civic and corporate leaders representing the primary industrial, retail, automotive and institutional organizations that define the greater Detroit community. Their active involvement ensures that America’s Thanksgiving Parade® remains a vital part of metropolitan Detroit’s cultural community.
The Michigan Thanksgiving Parade Foundation also includes a volunteer corps of 1,500. These dedicated individuals contribute to the staging of America’s Thanksgiving Parade®, under the supervision of Michigan’s Thanksgiving Parade Foundation and a full-time management staff of event, marketing, and creative professionals.
The Michigan Thanksgiving Parade, now known as America’s Thanksgiving Parade®, was founded in 1924. For more than 75 years, The Parade has been a one-of-a-kind spectacle of fantasy, holiday spirit and community enthusiasm. The Parade has grown to include more than 75 parade units, including floats, balloons and marching bands in procession.
America’s Thanksgiving Parade® is Detroit’s most visible civic event, a positive demonstration of the best this community has to offer to its people and the greater American community. Exceptional curbside attendance as well as extensive “live” radio and television coverage, on a regional and national level, combine to create unparalleled marketing and promotional exposure for the City of Detroit.
In an effort to expand the reach and impact of America’s Thanksgiving Parade®, The Michigan Thanksgiving Parade Foundation also has produced a variety of auxiliary fundraising and community outreach events including Hob Nobble Gobble®, a spectacular black-tie fundraising event; the International Freedom Festival, a celebration of Canadian and American friendship; the 1997, 1998, 2002 & 2008 Red Wings Victory Parades; The 1998 University of Michigan Rose Bowl Victory Parade; the 1999 Big Balloon Parade staged in Green Bay, Wisconsin; and The Parade Company assisted Australia with their Centenary of Federation Parade on January 1, 2001.
The Michigan Thanksgiving Parade Foundation is an independent, not-for-profit, tax-exempt organization. Funding is derived from corporate sponsorships, foundations and individual donations. The Foundation receives no local, state or federal appropriations. The Parade Company is the marketing and operating division of The Michigan Thanksgiving Parade Foundation.