Final preparation for America’s Thanksgiving Day Parade presented by Gardner White in Detroit

DETROIT – We’re less than 10 hours from one of Detroit’s great holiday traditions, America’s Thanksgiving Day Parade presented by Gardner White, which is set to start at 8:45 a.m.

The floats have moved into position along Woodward Wednesday (Nov. 23), staged and ready for Thursday morning, and hundreds of people came out Wednesday to get a good look and start their holiday a bit early.

Through the eyes of the little children, it’s just magic as so many families walked the Woodward staging area.

“We just left from American Coney Island,” said a man. “We started there, had some coneys, and went back to Campus Martius to make an evening of it.”

The floats look magnificent this year, and there were nine new ones. For once, the weather wasn’t giving the artisans heart palpitations as they were doing last-minute polish as generations of families came to relive as well as make new memories.

“I just remember the big bigness of it, and it was fantastic,” said Mildred Lockhart-Boyd. “It was worth every minute of getting up early and freezing and waiting and seeing Santa Claus at the end.”

Lockhart-Boyd brought her grandchildren back to Detroit to experience what she so lovingly remembers as a child.

“I expected them to be big and stuff, but I didn’t expect them to be so many and just gigantic,” said Leo Boyd.

Seeing the floats up close and personal on the night before the parade was a different experience.

“In the last few years at the parade, the little kids can’t see, and so we thought. ‘Let’s go tonight for the same reason,’” said Bob Crawford. “The weather’s nice. You can get up in the floats. We’ve taken a couple of pictures of us on the floats. I hope that is legal.”

Then there are the parade professionals that come the night before and bright and early Thanksgiving Day.

Grand River is usually our spot,” said Joey Ramey. “We like that spot. We’ll get there around 7:30 a.m. or 8 a.m.”

About the Authors:

Brandon Carr is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with WDIV Local 4 since November 2021. Brandon is the 2015 Solomon Kinloch Humanitarian award recipient for Community Service.