DETROIT (WWJ) – There will be several celebrities in the lineup when America’s Thanksgiving Parade hits the streets of Detroit next week.

The Parade Company said Ruben Studdard from “American Idol,” Academy award winner Sixto “Sugar Man” Rodriquez and “America’s Got Talent” winner and Japanese performing artist Kenichi Ebina are among the celebrity guests participating.

Former Tigers manager Jim Leyland is the Grand Marshall for the parade, which steps off from Woodward and Kirby next Thursday at 8:45 am. Leyland will lead the iconic parade past some of Detroit’s most historic landmarks including Orchestra Hall, Comerica Park, Fox Theatre and Campus Martius Park.

This year’s parade will also feature a record-breaking nine new floats and a nearly three mile parade route.

STARS TO SHINE IN PARADE –Parade goers will enjoy an up close look at performers, musicians and stars including:

2013 Grand Marshal

• Jim Leyland – Third-winningest manager in Detroit Tigers franchise history

2013 Honorary Grand Marshals

• Maggie Allesee-Philanthropist & Humanitarian
• Carol Goss-President, Skillman Foundation

Parade Celebrities

• Garrett Clayton-Actor, singer & dancer. Career has included roles in the hit Disney Channel Original Movie “Teen Beach Movie,” Disney Channel’s “Shake It Up,” and more; Michigan native riding on the Radio Disney “Fa-la-la-lidays” float

• Kenichi Ebina-Japanese performing artist; winner of America’s Got Talent (Season 8)

• Melissa Fleis-Project Runway Designer (Season 10); Michigan native

• Elizabeth Iverzaj-Miss Michigan 2014; fourth Miss Michigan USA to hold a national title

• Douglas Keane-Winner of Top Chef Masters (Season 5); Michigan native

• Sarah Lenore-Semi-finalist of America’s Got Talent (Season 3); recently signed by Cash Money as pop/country artist

• Angel Mills-Miss Black Michigan USA 2014; Senior at Howard University studying broadcast & journalism; Michigan native

• Sixto Rodriguez-American Folk Musician based in Detroit; revival of his musical career is documented in the Academy Award winning documentary film Searching for Sugarman

• Ruben Studdard-Pop singer & winner of American Idol (Season 2); has released five albums and is a participant in the current season of The Biggest Loser (Season 15)

• Haley Williams-Miss Michigan America 2013; Michigan native

• Allee Willis-Songwriter recognized for many great hits including Earth, Wind & Fire’s “September”; Detroit native

Parade morning and the days following are filled with exciting annual events for the whole family to enjoy. Some highlights include:

Fifth Third Turkey Trot – The Parade Company will host 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.

A Day in Paradeland – See and experience the larger-than-life floats featured in America’s Thanksgiving Parade 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 – 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.

For more information, visit

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