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New float and co-grand marshals announced at 2010 America's Thanksgiving Parade Preview Party

Farmington Hills, Mich. native Makayla McCoskey native named parade queen

PHOTO BY GLORIA RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

The Parade Company's President & CEO Tony Michaels, Parade Co-Grand Marshal Dick Purtan and Steve Kurmas (representing Co-Grand Marshal Tony Earley, Jr.)

by Jason Rzucidlo
americajr@americajr.com

 

DETROIT -- The Parade Company revealed its new DTE Energy float "Energy and Our Future" at its annual parade preview party, which is held one month before the parade begins. In addition, longtime radio broadcaster Dick Purtan and DTE Energy's Executive Chairman of the Board Anthony Earley, Jr. were announced as co-grand marshals of the parade. Farmington Hills, Mich. native Makayla McCoskey was introduced as this year's parade queen and the winner of a scholarship. Four other parade princesses were named; they also went home with college scholarships.

"I have the privilege of being with one of America's greatest teams, the team here that puts on America's Thanksgiving Parade and the Target Fireworks," said Tony Michaels, President and CEO of The Parade Company. "We have the greatest sponsors in the world. We can't thank everybody enough. I would also like to introduce right now the queen of America's Thanksgiving Parade, Makayla McCoskey. Makayla will be in the parade on Thanksgiving morning. We hope you enjoy what is really a revitalized Parade Company."

The parade preview party included a performance by the Mid American Pompon team, the band AMINAL from the Detroit School of Rock & Pop, the DSD Frequency Dancers and AM 910 Radio Disney's D-Tour.

"It's a real honor to do this thing," said parade co-grand marshal Dick Purtan. "We used to take our kids down when they were young all the time. Right in front of the Hudson's building and Coleman Young was the mayor. I would give the key to Coleman who would then give the key to Santa Claus. This year, the key will be given to Santa as the parade is moving. This is the first time that will be done in 84 years. They want to keep the parade moving so that spectators can enjoy the parade at that end. I can't tell you what an honor it is to be co-grand marshal."

One of this year's new floats, Energy and Our Future, was unveiled during the event. It is being sponsored by DTE Energy. Another new float will be announced in the beginning of November at the pancake breakfast. There will be a total of four or five new floats in this year's parade.

"We're really excited to be here to introduce our first new float in six years," said Steve Kurmas, president of Detroit Edison, who spoke on behalf of the other co-grand marshal Anthony Earley, Jr. "The float features a group of characters on a float powered by entirely by renewable energy; five different forms of renewable energy. Our float's central character holds a world in one hand and a banner in another hand. The banner reads, 'The future is in our hands.' It reminds us all that children are driving our future. If you like these characters, you can see more of them on our new website at DTEKids.com."

"I will be riding on the Princess Fairytale float with the rest of my corps., I'm so excited," said Parade Queen Makayla McCoskey. "I get to be involved in all of the Parade Company's events. After this, I'm doing the pancake breakfast, Hob Nobble Gobble, the parade itself, the Target Fireworks. I get to throw out a pitch at a Tigers game and so many more things I haven't found out about yet. I've been watching the parade forever, but this will definitely be my first time in the parade. I was given a $1,500 scholarship along with the crown and the banner and all the amazing events that go with it. I'm working on submitting my apps right now. I'm looking at some east coast schools, but I will always be a hometown girl, I'd love to go to U of M. I want to major in cell molecular biology."

Each year, The Parade Company holds a competition to select the official parade queen and the four princesses to support her. All girls between the ages of 17 and 23 who live in the state of Michigan are eligible to apply. A panel of judges selects the queen and the princesses based on academics, campus, community involvement, personality and knowledge of the parade. Each of the four princesses receives a $250 scholarship while the queen gets a $1,500 scholarship.

"You had to have an overall of a 3.0 or higher GPA, be very involved in your community and you have to be a well-rounded person," said Kelsey Hall of Detroit, one of this year's parade princesses. "The princesses are there more for the parade. Santa's always the best part for me, most definitely. We're there to support the queen and what she does. We're just there as a backup for her I think it's wonderful that there's so many things to offer. There's so many opportunities for young people to have a good time at a place like this. I plan on going to New York University for a major in broadcast journalism and a minor in music."

The 28th Annual Fifth Third Turkey Trot will take place on Thanksgiving morning before the parade. It includes a 10K, 5K or one mile race. It begins in front of the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center, heads north on Woodward, then west on Michigan Avenue and east towards Cobo Center. It all begins with the Mashed Potato Mile at 7:30 a.m. The turkey trot and S3 Stuffing Strut begin at 7:45 a.m. and 8:00 a.m., respectively. The 5K walk begins at 8:10 a.m. on Woodward near Congress. Click here for information on how to register for all of the races.

"I volunteer here at the Parade Company and I help paint the floats," said Shannon Antuschevich of St. Clair Shores, Mich., who dressed up as an apple pie for the preview party. "Yes, it's very good apple pie. Apple pie is delicious, go buy some. I go to Macomb Community College. I'm a volunteer at the Parade Company and they dress up as an apple pie and hand out these flyers. I will be a V.I.P. escort, so I will not be on the floats. But I will be helping out whoever our V.I.P. escorts are."

Tickets for the Hob Nobble Gobble and grandstand seating for America's Thanksgiving Parade are still available. Tickets for the Hob Nobble Gobble range from $200 to $1,000 and can be purchased by clicking here. Grandstand tickets range from $25 to $45 and can be purchased by clicking here.

For more information on The Parade Company, visit www.theparade.org or call (313) 923-7400.

 

PHOTO BY GLORIA RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

The new Energy and Our Future float sponsored by DTE Energy.

 

PHOTO BY GLORIA RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Michaels poses for a photo with the parade queen and three princesses.

 

PHOTO BY GLORIA RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

The band ANIMAL, from the Detroit School of Rock and Pop, provided the entertainment for the evening.

 

PHOTO BY GLORIA RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

The Mid American Pompon team performed during the parade preview party.

 

PHOTO BY GLORIA RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Attendees played video games like Guitar Hero.

 

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Copyright © 2010 AmericaJR.com. All Rights Reserved.
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. America's Thanksgiving Parade is a registered trademark of The Parade Company. Official logos are courtesy of The Parade Co.

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