DETROIT – The Parade Company announced Thursday morning that NFL Hall of Famer Calvin Johnson Jr. and Detroit Bishop Edgar Vann will be Grand Marshals for the 95th annual America’s Thanksgiving Parade presented by Gardner-White.
WDIV’s vice president and general manager Marla Drutz will also serve as honorary Grand Marshal.
Johnson, who was recently inducted into the Hall of Fame, was with the Detroit Lions for nine seasons and is considered one of the greatest wide receivers in NFL history.
Serving the community since 1976, Vann, of Second Ebenezer Church, carried on the legacy of his father, who was recognized as a religious leader in the Detroit area for more than 50 years.
Drutz has served in her leadership role with Local 4 News for more than 10 years, receiving several professional awards and recognitions. She is a leading participant in various industry and nonprofit organizations, and will retire from WDIV later this year.
“We are thrilled to welcome Calvin Johnson and Bishop Vann as this year’s Grand Marshals for America’s Thanksgiving Parade presented by Gardner-White,” said Tony Michaels, president and CEO of The Parade Company. “Both are beloved figures in Detroit who have worked tirelessly to elevate our city and serve our community. It will be exciting to celebrate with them on Woodward Avenue on Thanksgiving morning.”
Last month, the Parade Company announced that Gardner-White has extended its presenting sponsorship of America’s Thanksgiving Parade through 2025.
Gardner-White celebrated its inaugural year as presenting sponsor in 2020.
The parade, which will be featured on Local 4, will return to Woodward Avenue on Thanksgiving morning. The theme this year is “Love on Woodward.”