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Guide To America's Thanksgiving Parade: 'So Much To Believe In'

The 85th America's Thanksgiving Parade, one of the country's oldest and most celebrated parades produced by The Parade Company, will kick-off on the corner of Woodward and Mack on Thursday, November 24 at 9:05 a.m. and end at Woodward and Congress. This year's theme is "So Much To Believe In."

Who's Who

  • Grand Marshals Bill and Lisa Ford

Celebrity Appearances:

  • Cari Cucksey – Star of HGTV's hot series "Cash & Cari"
  • Erin Cummings – Actress "Spartacus," "Detroit 1-8-7," and currently on "Pan Am;" Founder of Mittens for Detroit
  • Doug E. Fresh – Rapper and Original Beat Box Artist, musician and recording artist
  • And everyone's favorite ... Santa Claus

Parade By The Numbers

Big Heads
  • Number of bands – 11
  • Number of balloons – 8
  • Number of papier-mâché heads – 130
  • Number of floats – 26   (plus 2 running floats in the Fifth Third Turkey Trot)
  • Number of clowns – almost 1,000
  • Total number of people marching (volunteers) – 5,000
  • Number of grandstand seats – 9,000
  • Number of beads – 300,000
  • Number of Equestrian Units – 4
  • Number of Specialty Units – 14

Coming & Going

Elf Dancers

If you plan to drive anywhere near Woodward on Wednesday or Thursday you might want to check this list of road closures.

The best way to get down to the route is to use the park and ride shuttle. Park your vehicles and ride a DDOT shuttle starting at 7 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Parking is free at the following park and ride locations.

  • Eastland Mall (Beaconsfield entrance) - arrives downtown at Library between Gratiot and Grand River
  • Fairlane Mall – arrives downtown at Adams Street at Clifford
  • Northland Mall (Greenfield entrance) - arrives downtown at Adams Street at Clifford

Fares: (exact change please!)

  • Adult: $2 each way
  • Youth: (18 years and under) - $1 each way
  • Children: (under age 5 or 44 inches tall) - Free (limit three, accompanied by an adult)

Recommended parking areas:

Eastern Michigan University Band

Cadillac Farmer $10
1025 Farmer
6 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Ford Underground Garage $10
30 East Jefferson
5 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Joe Louis Arena Garage $5
900 W. Jefferson
4:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Parade Route

The parade starts on Woodward North of Henry and travels through downtown to Jefferson Ave.

Click here for a map.

Grandstand Locations

Grandstand seats offer parade-goers a prime location in downtown Detroit, with the ability to see, live and up close, more than 60 units of your favorite floats, balloons, marching bands, specialty acts and celebrity guests. Tickets are going fast, but with up to 10,000 seats available over 5 locations along the route there might be a few left.

Know Before You Go

There's nothing worse than being cold during the parade. Make sure you dress in layers and dress appropriate for the forecast. Check the 7 day forecast by the WWJ-TV First Forecast team.

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