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Local News / Entertainment

Friday, 4 November, 2011 2:29 PM

Parade Co. to create new Magic Johnson papier-mache "Big Head" for America's Thanksgiving Parade®

New Magic Johnson “Big Head” to be unveiled at the 22nd Annual Hob Nobble Gobble fundraiser, Nov. 18

Photo credit: Lovio George Inc.

Head shot of Magic Johnson

 

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DETROIT – The winning smile of NBA legend and entrepreneur Earvin “Magic” Johnson will grace historic Woodward Avenue on Thanksgiving morning in the form of a new papier-mâché “Big Head” for the 85th America’s Thanksgiving Parade®. The Parade Company will debut the new Magic “Big Head”, at the 22nd Annual Hob Nobble Gobble black-tie fundraiser on Friday, November 18 at Ford Field.

Johnson, a Michigan native, recently accepted the honor of joining the ranks of The Parade Company’s impressive collection of new and historic papier-mâché heads, which include representations of Aretha Franklin, Joe Louis, Bob Seger, Rosa Parks and more. As a nod to his basketball days at Michigan State, the new Magic “Big Head” will be paired with a Spartan basketball “warm-up” costume.

“Michigan is my home state and I couldn’t be more honored than to be represented in one of its greatest annual traditions in Detroit and one of the longest running Parades in our country,” said Johnson. “I always tried not to get a big head during my basketball and business career, but this is a special occasion.”

The tradition of creating new papier-mâché “Big Heads” to honor local figures dates back to when Hudson’s produced the Parade. The Parade Company recently revived this tradition of creating new “Big Heads” by their team of artists with the addition of a “Big Head” of philanthropist Art Van Elslander in 2009 and last year’s addition of legendary University of Michigan football coach Bo Schembechler.

“I cannot wait to see the smiles on all the faces, young and old, when they see Magic’s new big head marching down Woodward on Thanksgiving morning,” said Tony Michaels, President & CEO, The Parade Company. “We’re so thrilled he accepted this honor to forever have a presence in this amazing 85 year tradition in Detroit.”

The new Magic “Big Head” will be worn by one of the members of the Big Head Corps. The Corps offers young professionals the opportunity to get involved with The Parade Company, while offering fun programs and networking opportunities with other young professionals. Membership in The Big Head Corps is $200 a person and includes participation in America’s Thanksgiving Parade® and a ticket to the Big Head Corps Breakfast on Parade morning.

The Parade Company owns the world’s largest collection of papier-mâché heads and with the support of the Big Head Corps, more than 100 of them will march down Woodward Avenue on Thanksgiving morning in hopes of bringing smiles to faces along the route. Many of the papier-mâché heads were created by artists in Viareggio, Italy, with some dating back to the 1940s. The ever expanding collection of more than 300 heads is kept in shape by the seasoned artists at The Parade Company’s studio.

About Magic Johnson Enterprises

Magic Johnson Enterprises, formed in 1987, serves as a catalyst for community and economic empowerment by making available high-quality entertainment, products and services that answer the demands of ethnically diverse urban communities. Through investment, partnership and consultation, Magic Johnson Enterprises has a portfolio of companies that strategically work together to reinforce the organization's focus on serving emerging, multicultural communities. Learn more at www.magicjohnson.com.

About The Parade Company

Founded in 1984, The Parade Company is a not-for-profit organization governed by the Michigan Thanksgiving Parade Foundation whose board of directors is comprised of key civic and corporate leaders in the greater Detroit region. The Parade Company is celebrating 85 years of Parade tradition in Detroit. The mission is to fund, create and execute the best family events in metro Detroit. The Parade Company staff, the board of directors and thousands of parade volunteers work year-round to bring a wide variety of magnificent events to the City of Detroit, each year, including the Target Fireworks, Fifth Third Turkey Trot and America's Thanksgiving Parade®.

 

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Unauthorized duplication or use of Text, Photos, Videos, Site Template, Graphics and or Site Design is Prohibited by Federal and International laws. See our Notice/Disclaimer.

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