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2020 ‘America’s Thanksgiving Parade’ will be virtual televised and online-only event this year

Watch only on Local 4 and ClickOnDetroit.com

America's Thanksgiving Parade lineup
America's Thanksgiving Parade lineup

“America’s Thanksgiving Parade presented by Gardner-White,” a holiday tradition that originates from Detroit, will go forward without crowds for a TV and web audience only.

Themed “We Are One Together,” this year’s parade will honor frontline workers and heroes of the COVID-19 crisis.

The parade will include floats, performers, helium balloons and Santa, hosted by WDIV-Local 4′s Devin Scillian, Kimberly Gill, Rhonda Walker and Evrod Cassimy.

Throughout “America’s Thanksgiving Parade presented by Gardner-White” viewers can win special prizes while watching at home – a $3,000 gift card courtesy of Gardner-White and (4) 65″ TVs courtesy of WDIV-Local 4 will be given away.

“The safety and well-being of the parade staff and volunteers, broadcast crew, and public is our number one priority,” said Vice President and General Manager Marla Drutz. “Our production team is working in lockstep with The Parade Company and the City of Detroit to ensure that we can bring the magic of Thanksgiving morning to our viewers in a safe manner.”

Every year, America’s Thanksgiving Parade presented by Gardner-White, highlights the best in local talent. Performing this year are:

· Lin Rountree: Billboard topping soul/urban jazz trumpeter

· Paulina Jayne: Urban-Country/rock/soul singer and songwriter

· Angela Davis: Neo-Soul/jazz vocalist

· Mid American Pompon All Star Team: Michigan high school varsity performers

· Evrod Cassimy: R&B/pop singer/songwriter and Local 4 News Today anchor

Morning coverage begins at 6 a.m. on WDIV-Local 4 and ClickOnDetroit.com with a special edition of Local 4 News Today hosted by Rhonda Walker, Evrod Cassimy and Brandon Roux.

Then, at 8 a.m., Jason Carr and Tati Amare host “America’s Thanksgiving Parade Preview with Live in the D.”

America’s Thanksgiving Parade presented by Gardner-White” starts at 9 a.m. Thanksgiving morning, including a one-hour syndicated national broadcast from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. reaching more 185 major cities across the country (check local TV listings).

The entire broadcast can be watched anywhere in Michigan, the U.S. and around the world live-streamed on ClickOnDetroit.com.

“Michiganders from all over the world love this parade. Every year, people in more that 100 countries stream this holiday event on ClickOnDetroit, which is a really amazing testament to the power of tradition and love of Detroit,” said Jamie Kaye Walters, Creative Services and Programming Director.

Viewers who have Roku, Amazon Fire, Apple TV or Google TV, can download the WDIV-Local 4 app to stream “America’s Thanksgiving Parade presented by Gardner-White” on their TV.

And again this year, viewers can vote for their favorite high school bands marching in the parade in the “Battle of the Bands” contest at ClickOnDetroit.com. The high school bands were pre-taped and feature local bands physically distanced and with masks when appropriate.

“America’s Thanksgiving Parade presented by Gardner-White” is recognized as the Best Holiday Parade by USA Today, two years running, 2018 and 2019. This is Gardner-White’s inaugural year as presenting sponsor. It is created and produced by The Parade Company, and WDIV-Local 4 is the exclusive television broadcast partner.

Thanksgiving Morning Lineup:

6 a.m. to 8 a.m. -- “Local 4 News Today: Special Thanksgiving Edition”

8 a.m. to 9 a.m. -- “America’s Thanksgiving Parade Preview with Live in the D.”

9 a.m. to Noon -- “America’s Thanksgiving Parade presented by Gardner-White”

NOTE: This year, crowds will not be allowed to gather to watch the parade, and the 38th Annual Strategic Staffing Solutions Turkey Trot will take place virtually – not in downtown Detroit.

As producers, The Parade Company developed a creative and thoughtful approach to continue the 94-year tradition during these unprecedented times. This year’s format is designed to capture the imaginations of millions watching from home and will not have spectators in the compressed footprint.

The Parade Company also announced details for its signature events, including:

  • The 38th Annual Strategic Staffing Solutions Turkey Trot will take place as a virtual race this year and will not take place downtown. Registration is now open at theparade.org/turkeytrot – runners have the option of the 10K and 5K S3 Turkey Trot and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Mashed Potato Mile. The Parade Company’s goal is to make this the largest virtual race in the state. The event benefits the Michigan Thanksgiving Parade Foundation.
  • Hob Nobble Gobble presented by Ford Motor Company is postponed for 2020 and will return to Ford Field on November 19, 2021. This is The Parade Company’s largest fundraiser of the year.

News/Talk 760 WJR’s Paul W. Smith and Entercom’s WOMC 104.3 also broadcast special parade shows. Additional details will be announced.

For information, visit theparade.org.

Related: Gardner-White to be presenting sponsor of America’s Thanksgiving Parade


About the Author:

Donna is a Creative Services producer.