DETROIT (CBS Detroit) – The 88th America’s Thanksgiving Parade, one of the country’s oldest and most celebrated parades, will kick-off on the corner of Woodward Avenue and Kirby on Thursday, November 27 at 8:45 a.m. and end at Woodward Avenue and Congress in downtown Detroit.

This year’s theme is “Walking on Sunshine.”

The parade is free to the public with grandstand tickets now available starting at $40. [Call 313-923-7400 for ticket info.]

Highlights

The new “Connecting the Spirit of Detroit to the World” float features a 12-foot-tall replica of The Spirit of Detroit and a carousel of world cities spinning around a giant globe.

The Parade Company unveiled Thursday the new Lear Corporation float. (By Edward Cardenas)

The Parade Company unveiled Thursday the new Lear Corporation float. (By Edward Cardenas)

Another new one to look for was designed by Detroit eighth grade student Naomi West. “Children’s Pet Cuddle & Care Club” was the inspiration for a new 30-foot-long float which features a giant bobble head dog sitting five feet in diameter with a dog bowl large enough to hold up to 20 gallons of water; children playing with a variety of animals and West’s cat Oreo who sits on top of an oversized dog house.

Other highlights of the event include the 32nd Annual Fifth Third Turkey Trot, Michigan’s largest 10K run, Strategic Staffing Solutions Stuffing Strut (5K) and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Mashed Potato Mile. [Parking info].

Leading up to the parade, the Hob Nobble Gobble event is hosted to raise funds for The Parade Company.

2014 Parade Who’s Who

Co-Grand Marshals: Meryl Davis and Charlie White, American Ice Dancing Gold Medalists

Davis and White awed audiences as they were the first Americans to win the Olympic ice dancing gold medal
with their performance scoring the highest point total in the history of the Olympics.

Celebrity appearances: Grammy-nominated rapper and Detroit native Big Sean; American rapper, actor and television host Vanilla Ice; Host of HGTV’sRehab Addict and Michigan native Nicole Curtis; International home designer and co-host of HGTV’s Love It or List It Hilary Farr; and Detroit’s favorite mascots: Paws, Roary and Hooper.

And everyone’s favorite … Santa Claus!

Music: Featured performances include Detroit R&B/Pop trio Love Dollhouse; beat boxer Stevie Soul, Motor City jazz crooner Ben Sharkey and drummer/percussionist Rick Beamon; along with America’s Got Talentfinalist Olivia Millerschin and American Idol finalist Malaya Watson.

Coming & Going

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

During the M-1 Rail construction period, DDOT will be rerouting all boarding and drop off locations on Woodward South of Grand Circus Park. For details, download the flyer. Otherwise, officials say work on the light rail project won’t pose a problem during the parade.

Parking

The Detroit Municipal Parking Department (MPD) recommends the following facilities for America’s Thanksgiving Parade and the Turkey Trot on Thursday, Nov. 27.                                    

  • Ford Underground Garage,  5 a.m. – 6 p.m., $10
    30 East Jefferson Avenue
  • Joe Louis Arena, 4:30 a.m. – 1 p.m., $10
    900 W. Jefferson Avenue
  • Millennium Garage, 24 hours, $10
    423 W. Congress

In addition, the following facilities are recommended for the Detroit Lions game.

  • Grand Circus Park Garage, 24 hours, $20
    1600-01 Woodward Avenue
  • Premier Underground Garage, 5 a.m. – 7 p.m., $10
    1206-08 Woodward Avenue

[Get a map and more parking information HERE].

People Mover

Those coming downtown for the morning runs, parade and the Lions Game can ride The Detroit People Mover free from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. , courtesy of Michelin North America, Inc. (People Mover passengers should note that the Grand Circus Park Station is currently closed for renovation. People Mover service will return to its regular schedule on Friday, Nov. 28).

Parade Route

The parade starts on Woodward North of Henry and travels through downtown to Jefferson Ave. [Click here for a map].

Know Before You Go

There’s nothing worse than being cold during the parade. Make sure you dress in layers and and keep it tuned to WWJ Newsradio 950 for traffic and weather on the 8s, 24 hours-a-day. Get the latest forecast now on our weather page.

Related:

Tips: Thanksgiving Parade Mistakes To Avoid
Best Activities For Kids In Detroit Over Thanksgiving Weekend
Guide For Thanksgiving Weekend Visitors To Detroit

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