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< Entertainment >

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!

America's Thanksgiving Parade: 2006 Parade Preview

by Jason Rzucidlo
americajr@americajr.com

DETROIT – This year, America's Thanksgiving Parade will go after it's roots. The parade route will follow the original route from 1924. It will begin at Mack Avenue and go down Woodward Avenue until it ends at Congress street. Detroit's parade is one of the biggest and best in the nation, rivaling only the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York.

The Parade will show off many of downtown Detroit's latest developments. Spectators and the nation will be able to see Merchants Row, Compuware World Headquarters, and Campus Martius Park. These new properties will signify the positive turnaround of the Motor City. The rink at Campus Martius will be open during the parade for ice skaters.

Deborah I. Dingell is the Chair of the Michigan Thanksgiving Parade foundation. "We are excited that our new route brings America's Thanksgiving Parade to the heart of downtown Detroit, continuing the great family tradition that has captured the hearts of millions over the last 80 years."

Detroit's parade begins at 9:20 a.m. WDIV Local 4 will be televising the parade beginning at 9 a.m. with a special parade preview at 8 a.m. The parade will be seen by a national audience for a one hour time period reaching over 100 million homes in the U.S.

Many of Michigan's biggest celebrities will be "coming home" to participate in America's Thanksgiving Parade. Detroit Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom will be the Grand Marshal. He said, "America's Thanksgiving Parade is a great family tradition and I'm honored to be serving as this year's Grand Marshal."

Cassie, an R&B singer will perform at the Hob Nobble Gobble fundraiser on the Wednesday before the parade. She will also ride on the "Sounds of Detroit" float sponsored by Clear Channel radio during the parade.

Other celebrities include: Andrew WK (a pop/rock singer), Angela Corsi (Miss Michigan 2006), The Backyardigans (cartoon characters), My Bed Buds (cartoon characters), Brandon T. Jackson (co-star of Roll Bounce), The Countours (legendary Motown band), Geoff Stults (Ben Kinkirk on CW's 7th Heaven), George Stults (Kevin Kinkirk on CW's 7th Heaven), Hayley Eisenhardt (Miss Teen Michigan 2006), Jonelle Thames (Miss Deaf Michigan), Keith Famie (chef and contestant on Survivor), KEM (Detroit singer, songwriter, musician and producer), Latonya King (winner of National Women's Golden Gloves Boxing Championship), Lem Barney (NFL Hall of Famer and former Detroit Lion), Mary Lynn Rajskub (Chloe O'Brien on FOX's 24), Naima Mora (winner of America's Next Top Model 4), Yemaya Rose Sharp (Junior Miss Deaf Michigan) and Santa Claus!

Appearing on WDIV Local 4's parade broadcast beginning at 9 a.m. will be a performance by actor, director and musician Jeff Daniels. Also, look for performances by KEM, the Mid American Pom Pon All-Star team and Karen Newman will sing "Christmas Eve on Woodward Avenue."

For parade goers, there is definitely a treat for you! The Parade Company will give away 80,000 gifts to spectators during the parade. Spectators will receive a coin holder which will have a prize or a coupon for a prize in it. You could get a coupon for $1 off Holidays on Parade, a free ride or popcorn at Holidays on Parade, 10% off coupon to be used at Belle Tire, a complimentary children's book from Art Van Furniture, temporary tatoos from 106.7 The Fox, free custard coupon for Culver's of Roseville or free child's admission to the New Detroit Science Center.

There will be 10 grand prizes. If your coin holder has a gold ticket, you are a grand prize winner! The top prizes include an autographed Nicklas Lidstrom jersey and puck, four tickets to the December 12th Red Wings game, four suite tickets to see Irvin Berlin' White Christmas at the Fox, an autographed Carlos Guillen jersey and four tickets to a Tigers game in 2007, a VIP tour of the 760 AM WJR studios, a complete stereo system from Clear Channel Radio, a set of custom tires and rims from Belle Tire, a first-class round trip from Windsor to Toronto by rail, an overnight stay at the Detroit Marriott Renaissance Center and a dinner for two at Coach Insignia, or a family membership to the New Detroit Scienc Center. There will only be one winner for the grand prizes listed above. To be a winner, your coin holder must include the gold ticket.

Turkey Trot and Mashed Potato Mile

The 4th Annual Mashed Potato Mile will take place at 7:30 a.m. on Thanksgiving morning. The Top 500 finishers will receive a special award. There will be an award ceremoney with entertainment and a complimentary buffet for all runners.

The 24th Annual Turkey Trot will kick off promptly at 8:00 a.m. It will begin and end at Cobo Center. The top three finishers in each age division will receive an award. Both the Turkey Trot and the Mashed Potato Mile are presented by Fifth Third Bank.

Holidays on Parade

Beginning Friday and running through Sunday, the Parade Company invites you to Holidays on Parade, a fun event for the entire family. It will be held at the Michigan State Fairgrounds.

There will be carnical rides and games, face painting, storytelling, arts and crafts, stage entertainment and free treats for the kids. You will also be able to get up close to the floats that you saw in the Thanksgiving parade. Santa Claus will be there to meet the kids. The Jones Brothers' will perform on Sunday, November 26th. After their performance, they will stay to meet and greet their fans.

Holidays on Parade will run on Friday, Nov. 24th from 12:00 p.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday, Nov. 25th from 12:00 p.m. to 8 p.m. and on Sunday, Nov. 26th from 12:00 p.m. to 6 p.m. It will be at the Michigan State Fairgrounds, 1120 W. State Fair Avenue in Detroit, MI 48203. Admission is $5 per person. Activities and food tickets will cost $1 each. You can save $1 off admission by printing off a coupon at www.theparade.org.

Source: The Parade Company

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / AMERICAJR.com

Runners are participating in the Turkey Trot prior to the Parade, 2003.

[ Return to our coverage of the 2006 America's Thanksgiving Parade ]

 

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