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America’s Thanksgiving Parade goes virtual for 2020

‘This tradition is part of our lives,’ Tony Michaels says

DETROIT – America’s Thanksgiving Parade presented by Gardner-White will still happen this year, but without crowds and for a TV and web audience only.

In order to keep the tradition going, Parade Company President and CEO Tony Michaels said this year’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will be unlike anything we’ve seen before.

“People need to wake up on Thanksgiving and see this show. It’s part of our lives,” Michaels said. “We’re excited. We’re just getting plans together for this virtual event.”

This year’s theme is “We Are One Together.” The parade will honor frontline workers and heroes of the COVID-19 pandemic. The parade will include floats, performers, helium balloons and Santa.

There will be recorded and live elements. The event will be hosted by Local 4′s Devin Scillian, Kimberly Gill, Rhonda Walker and Evrod Cassimy.

“Well, we’re gonna do a lot of taping. We’re going to have a broadcast -- of course -- on WDIV on Thursday morning,” Michaels said. “We got a lot of work to do. We originally planned to be downtown. That probably will not happen now.”

Just like the 2020 Ford Fireworks, the location is being kept under wraps to keep people safe.

“We never intended spectators to come. We don’t want anyone. We are being so responsible, so safe,” Michaels said. “It is so important with the COVID situation right now.”

Even though this will be a first-of-its-kind event, it’ll be one to remember.

“We want everyone to know you’re going to see a great great show with all the great floats and a lot of great things happening presented by Gardener White,” Michaels said.

You can watch the parade next Thursday on Local 4 News.

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