Detroit Thanksgiving Parade Marches Forward as a Televised-only Event

Plus, the Turkey Trot goes virtual for 2020
detroit thanksgiving parade
2015 America’s Thanksgiving Parade // Photograph courtesy of The Parade Co.

Just like it did for this year’s Ford Fireworks show, the Parade Co. is pivoting the annual Detroit thanksgiving parade to a live, televised-only event. For the first time, America’s Thanksgiving Parade — which is now presented by Gardner-White — will take place in downtown Detroit without an in-person audience.

The theme of this year’s parade, which will honor frontline workers and other heroes of the pandemic, is We Are One Together. Once again, The Parade Co. will team up with WDIV Local 4 to air the event, and a one-hour syndicated national broadcast of the parade will reach more than 185 television markets across the U.S.

“We have an extraordinary passion in bringing America’s Thanksgiving Parade presented by Gardner-White to our community and believe this is an opportunity to show the country how our remarkable city and people have come together to make this beloved tradition happen,” says Tony Michaels, president and CEO of The Parade Co. “Our team has reviewed every aspect with the city of Detroit and the Detroit Police Department to ensure a safe environment. This is truly Detroit’s greatest tradition.”

There are updates on other Thanksgiving Day traditions, too. The 38th Annual Strategic Staffing Solutions Turkey Trot will take place as a virtual event this year. Registration is now open online, and runners have the option to sign up for a 10K, 5K, or the Michigan Mashed Potato Mile. Those who sign up will have the option to complete their race wherever they choose. The event will benefit the Michigan Thanksgiving Parade Foundation.

Meanwhile, Hob Nobble Gobble, a yearly charitable event presented by Ford Motor Co., is postponed. The Parade Co. fundraiser will return to Ford Field in November 2021.

Originally named The Michigan Thanksgiving Parade, America’s Thanksgiving Parade presented by Gardner-White was founded n 1924. USA Today named the event “the best holiday parade” in both 2018 and 2019.

For more information on The Parade Co.’s offerings, visit