Watch CBS News

The Parade Company Is Hard At Work Setting Up America's Thanksgiving Parade® 2021

Southfield (CW50) - The Parade Company is the marketing and operating division for The Michigan Thanksgiving Parade Foundation, which was founded in 1982. The parade itself has been operating since 1924. Each year, this division helps set up, build floats, and market the annual event in Detroit.

Screen Shot 2021-11-17 at 10.32.57 AM
Sneak Peak at one of the floats in America's Thanksgiving Parade, presented by Gardener White

The Parade Company includes a volunteer corps of 1,500 people who contribute to the staging of America's Thanksgiving Parade, presented by Gardener White, under the supervision of Michigan's Thanksgiving Parade Foundation and a full-time management staff of event, marketing, and creative professionals. These hardworking individuals are hard at work this year to put on what they hope is the best parade yet. The theme this year is "Love on Woodward."

The Grand Marshals this year include:

Calvin Johnson, Jr. – NFL Hall of Fame and second overall draft pick in the 2007 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions.

Bishop Edgar Vann — A leader in the arena of giving back to Detroit, Bishop Vann has served in the fields of business, civics, and faith throughout his life.

Marla Drutz (Honorary Grand Marshal) – Longtime WDIV Vice President and General Manager and Detroit business leader. Drutz will retire from WDIV later this year.

This year will also feature performances from

Rachel Mac, Disney's The Lion King, Detroit Youth Choir, Detroit Academy of Arts & Sciences (DAAS) Choir, and of course, Santa Claus.

The team over at The Parade Company has designed a handful of new floats from Central Michigan University, Delta Dental, General Motors, Henry Ford Health System, and Skillman Foundation that you can check out for yourself on Thanksgiving Day at the parade. Grandstand tickets are available from $55 to $70 online.

Find out more at

Screen Shot 2021-11-11 at 2.04.27 PM
Community Connect Host Jackie Paige, with Tony Michaels, President and CEO of The Parade Company

Tony Michaels, President & CEO of The Parade Company, joins Jackie Paige on Community Connect to talk about the work his team has put in this year to make the 2021 parade the best one yet, and what's new this year at the annual event.

Watch Community Connect, Saturday at 7am on CW50

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.