Wayne State University unveils new float to debut at 92nd America's Thanksgiving Parade

Wayne State University unveiled its new float, “Warrior Strong,” this morning during the 19th Annual Parade Pancake Breakfast presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM).

In celebration of the university’s 150th anniversary, the “Warrior Strong” float will make its debut at the 92nd America’s Thanksgiving Parade® presented by Art Van with a national broadcast reaching 185 major cities across the country.

Dan Loepp, chairman of the Michigan Thanksgiving Parade Foundation and president and CEO of BCBSM, and Tony Michaels, president and CEO of The Parade Company, were joined by celebrity pancake flippers and hundreds of business and community leaders to serve up flapjacks to more than 1,000 guests.  

“For 150 years, Wayne State University has been committed to the city of Detroit and we are proud to celebrate our anniversary with our students, supporters and community with a new float on Thanksgiving morning,” said Dr. M. Roy Wilson, president of Wayne State University. “Our float, ‘Warrior Strong’, embodies a motto that Wayne State students and alumni live out each day in classrooms, boardrooms, labs, medical centers and on stage.” 

“Wayne State University is an incredible partner of The Parade Company and their new float is a stunning addition to this year’s parade,” said Michaels. “We are so appreciative of Wayne State’s support throughout the years and honored to have had our Parade Company artists design and build this truly remarkable float.”

The new float, “Warrior Strong,” is 102 feet long and two stories high (22 feet), and features a gigantic three-tier cake large enough to feed 150,000 people. The vibrant float also features larger-than-life superheroes carrying giant Warrior shields.

Helping Wayne State University celebrate 150 years on Thanksgiving morning are Cedric Mutebi, representing the Wayne Med-Direct program; Honors College student Kavya Davuluri; Dazmonique Carr from the College of Education; and Michael Rachwal from the Mike Ilitch School of Business. They represent the more than 27,000 students from around the world who attend Wayne State University, which just welcomed the largest freshman class in its history. 

In addition to the “Warrior Strong” float, Wayne State also sponsors the Kermit the Frog balloon and its Midtown Campus is the hub for all costuming for the parade. 

Celebrating its 92nd year, America’s Thanksgiving Parade presented by Art Van takes place on Thursday, Nov. 22. To commemorate the life and legacy of longtime parade supporter Art Van Elslander, “Art!! Heart & Soul!” has been announced as this year’s theme. America’s Thanksgiving Parade® presented by Art Van will step off at 8:45 a.m. at the corner of Woodward Avenue and Kirby, adjacent to the Detroit Institute of Arts in Midtown, and end at Woodward Avenue and Congress.

Three-time Emmy Award winner and five-time National Sportscaster of the Year recipient Jim Nantz will serve as Grand Marshal.