The harvest festival of Thanksgiving is not just a way to express your gratitude towards the copious harvest, but also highlights the vibrant, pulsating, and energetic parade, held annually Detroit, Michigan. Boasting of assorted floats, marching bands, and multi-colored balloons, the parade takes place at Woodward Avenue, beginning from Woodward and Mack Avenues and concluding at Congress Street. One of the largest parades of the nation, the parade floats across on a different theme each year. Along with the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City, this parade is the second oldest in the United States, after the 6abc IKEA Thanksgiving Day Parade held in Philadelphia. This bizarre and astonishing Thanksgiving Day parade actually stems from a European tradition. Read on further to discover all about the Thanksgiving Parade held in Detroit and know its highlights.
The phenomenal success of the Eaton's Santa Claus Parade held in Toronto gave way for the establishment of a Thanksgiving Parade in America. The man behind this fascinating and beguiling parade was Charles Wendel, display director of JL Hudson Company in 1924. With ideas grabbed from Europe, he instilled large papier-mache heads, apart from the usual floats and bands, as displays in the parade. These heads, till date, remain a major highlight of the parade, being produced in Viareggio, Italy. The parade took place on Woodward Avenue, beginning close to Woodward and Mack Avenue, and concluding at Congress Street. The places covered through the parade include I-75, Foxtown, Hockeytown Cafe, and Comerica Park.
On reaching Foxtown, the parade takes a turn through the Grand Circus Park to the business district, finally entering into the TV coverage area near Grand River and Gratiot Avenues. However, with the onset of the World War II, the parade was shelved in 1943 and 1944 due to shortage of materials, only to be resumed back in 1945. The company continued to sponsor the parade until 1979 after which it withdrew due to burdening high costs. Until then, the parade started at Woodward and Putnam near Detroit Public Library and wrapped up at Hudson's Marquee near Gratiot. From 1979, for the next four years, the parade was financed by the Detroit Renaissance Foundation. The parade was then routed from Antoinette Street to Adams Street near Grand Circus Park.
Later in 1983, the control of the parade was transferred to the Michigan Thanksgiving Parade Foundation, a newly-created organization. Today, the American Thanksgiving Parade is a registered trademark of the Michigan Parade Foundation. The foundation created a separate division to handle operations and marketing activities, as the Parade Company in 1990. The parade, today, is a magnificent and flamboyant display of glitzy floats, marching bands, and flashy balloons, with the climax being the arrival of Santa Claus to announce the arrival of Christmas season. The streets are abuzz with a large collection of papier-mache heads and the march of local corporate and community leaders dressed as clowns.
Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is the one of the most popular Thanksgiving Parades in Europe. Witness Macy's Thanksgiving Parade 2011 in New York.