DETROIT – Nothing says fall in metro Detroit like mom’s apple pie, Detroit Lions football, and the annual America’s Thanksgiving Parade down Woodward Avenue.

The 2012 event got a little closer to reality when The Parade Company announced its grand marshals —  Congressman John D. Dingell and Debbie Dingell. Beginning at 9:15 a.m. Thursday, November 22, they’ll lead the 86-year tradition, one of the country’s largest and longest-running parades.

“We look forward to welcoming Congressman Dingell and Debbie Dingell as America’s Thanksgiving Parade Grand Marshals as we celebrate 86 years of parade history,” said Tony Michaels, president & CEO of The Parade Company. “The Dingells work tirelessly to advance our community and are role models to us all. It is a privilege to be able to honor them on Thanksgiving morning.”

Dingell has a long and storied history in Congress, passing on a family tradition. His father was one of the original authors of the Social Security Act and Medicare. Dingell is now the Dean of the House and was recently voted the wisest man in Congress by Republican and Democrats alike.

“His legendary oversight to uncover waste, fraud, and abuse earned him the title ‘America’s Watchdog,’” The Parade Company said in a press release. “Like his father, he has adopted the enduring cause of quality health care and authored the Patient’s Bill of Rights, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, the Mammography Quality Standards Act, the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act and the Prescription Drug User Fee Act – all leading up to the Affordable Care Act into law – an act he authored and President Obama signed into law.”

His wife Debbie Dingell, currently president of D2 Strategies and Chair of the Manufacturing Initiative of the American Automotive Policy Council, is a longtime champion of Democratic initiatives.  She currently chairs several boards, initiatives and committees and sits on numerous cultural, health, social services and civic boards in both Michigan and Washington, D.C., including The Parade Company, where she has been chairperson and is currently an executive board member.

“The traditions and memories The Parade Company creates with family events such as the beloved America’s Thanksgiving Parade are integral components of bringing this community together,” said Debbie Dingell. “The Parade Company has always held and will continue to hold a special legacy in our hearts and does a wonderful job of shining a grand spotlight on Detroit each year.”


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