America's Thanksgiving Parade: A family tradition

America's Thanksgiving Parade is one of the oldest, most celebrated in history

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DETROIT - WATCH LIVE HERE: America's Thanksgiving Parade coverage from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m.

America's Thanksgiving Parade, presented by Art Van Furniture is one of the country's oldest and most celebrated parades. Produced by The Parade Company, it has been recognized as one of the best Thanksgiving parades in the country by U.S. News & World Report Travel – second in size only to Macy's Thanksgiving Parade in New York.

With much momentum building as this beloved tradition nears, The Parade Company recently announced an exciting route shift for the 87th America's Thanksgiving Parade® presented by Art Van Furniture. The iconic parade will now step-off at Woodward Avenue and Kirby, adjacent to the Detroit Institute of Arts in Midtown, on Thursday, November 28 and end at Congress just south of Campus Martius Park in downtown Detroit.  This new route allows for the historic parade to pass by some Detroit's most notable landmarks including the Detroit Institute of Arts, Orchestra Hall, Comerica Park, the Fox Theatre and Campus Martius Park as it marches more than two miles along Woodward Ave. 


Themed "Downtown Our Town," the two-hour Parade will be featured on WDIV-TV Local 4, including a one-hour national broadcast reaching more than 140 major cities across the country. News/Talk 760 WJR will also broadcast live from the parade route.


NINE MAGICAL NEW FLOATS – Designed, created and built by the talented artists at The Parade Company, this year's parade features a record breaking nine new floats that will be unveiled in the weeks leading up to the parade. This year's new floats will include and be sponsored by: 

  • Art Van Furniture
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan
  • DTE Energy
  • The Detroit Jazz Festival
  • Skillman Foundation
  • Strategic Staffing Solutions
  • Ford Motor Company
  • FirstMerit Bank
  • Radio Disney 


Number of bands – 12

Number of balloons – 8

Number of papier-mâché heads – 150

Number of floats – More than 25

Number of grandstands for viewing – 10,000

Number of beads – 300,000


Fifth Third Turkey Trot – The Parade Company will soon announce a new route for the 31st Annual Fifth Third Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning, a Detroit tradition and Michigan's largest 10K run.  The race also includes the 8th Annual Strategic Staffing Solutions Stuffing Strut (5K) and 11th Annual Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Mashed Potato Mile.


30th Anniversary of the Distinguished Clown Corps – For 30 years, this group of more than 150 corporate and community leaders generously contribute to the non-profit Parade Company for the opportunity to trade their business suits for clown suits to make their grand march down Woodward Avenue handing out beads in downtown Detroit. This year, longtime Parade Company supporter, board member and 25 year veteran of the Distinguished Clown Corps Maggie Allesee will serve as 2013 Distinguished Grand Jester.


Big Head Corps – The Big Head Corps offers young professionals the opportunity to get involved with The Parade Company, while offering fun programs and networking events with other young professionals. The Parade Company owns the world's largest collection of papier-mâché heads and with the support of the Big Head Corps, more than 150 of them will march down Woodward Avenue on Thanksgiving morning. Cassie Sobelton will serve as this year's "Head Honcho."


A Day in Paradeland – See and experience the larger-than-life floats featured in America's Thanksgiving Paradeâ presented by Art Van Furniture and enjoy games, rides and food on Saturday, November 30 from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. at The Parade Company. Admission is $6 per person.


The Parade Company Studio Tours presented by PNC– Take a magical, behind-the-scenes tour of The Parade Company and discover the city's most hidden treasure. Tours are offered ALL YEAR ROUND and are available for groups of 10 or more and by reservation. Details at

WATCH: America's Thanksgiving Parade 2012 Parade Part 1

WATCH: America's Thanksgiving Parade 2012 Parade Part 2

WATCH: America's Thanksgiving Parade 2012 Parade Part 3

WATCH: America's Thanksgiving Parade 2012 Parade Part 4

WATCH: America's Thanksgiving Parade 2012 Parade Part 6

WATCH: America's Thanksgiving Parade 2012 Parade Part 7

WATCH: America's Thanksgiving Parade 2012 Parade part 8

WATCH: America's Thanksgiving Parade 2012 Parade Part 9

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