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The Parade Company offers studio tours and costumes for Halloween rental

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

A look inside the Parade Company studios at 9500 Mt. Elliott St. in Detroit.

by Jason Rzucidlo
americajr@americajr.com

 

DETROIT -- Most people don't know that the Parade Company studios are open for tours all year long. Yes, it's true! Most parents typically buy their Halloween costumes for their kids. However, there is another option. The Parade Company also has costumes available for renting. In addition, the Hob Nobble Gobble fundraiser has been moved up one week earlier and it will take place in a new location.

"We offer year-round tours of our studio," said Renee Rodriguez, The Parade Company's director of volunteer and tour services. "People can come from the community and they can come see all of our floats up close and personal and learn what it takes to put on a parade, how we build floats and all of the secrets. We get a lot of field trips and we have all ages that come through ranging from nursery school kids all the way up to senior citizens and Red Hat groups."

Studio tours cost $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and $8 for all children under age 18. To book a tour, visit www.theparade.org or call (313) 923-7400. Special prices are offered for large groups and for schools.

"We have volunteer opportunities all year long," Rodriguez added. "Specifically in the fall, we're gearing up for our busy season with the parade right around the corner. We have opportunities to come in help paint and build the floats, sew costumes and then for the parade itself, there's opportunities to volunteer to be in the parade, wear costumes, march with the bands, all kinds of fun things."

Over 2,000 volunteers are needed to help make America's Thanksgiving Parade a success. The director of volunteer and tour services says she needs another 400 volunteers to come forward. However, it will not be a problem because they always get what they need. To become a volunteer, download and print the application at www.theparade.org.

"We were working on painting stuff, putting the primer on," said Carol Rivetto, a volunteer artist from Warren, Mich. "Now, we're sanding down these styrofoam flowers so they come nice and smooth, then they're primed and painted. Later on, we're going to be working on, which I really enjoy, is preparing the paper mache heads and painting them. Everybody is so nice and friendly here. What I like about it is when you volunteer, there's no specific day that you have to come or time. It's whatever is convenient for you and they always have work to do."

There will be five or six new floats in America's Thanksgiving Parade this year. Volunteer artists are already hard at work on them right now. All of the Parade Company's floats are bright and vibrant with many multiple colors on them.

"We both started three years ago," said Barbara Timm, a volunteer artist from Sterling Heights, Mich. "That's where we met and we became good friends. I did the same thing today so it's kind of fun from the start to finish. It's challenging to do that. It's nice to see the outcome. We never run out of work. But that's the nice thing about it because you do different stuff. It's very interesting and it's fun."

The Parade Company has 2,000 costumes available for Halloween rental. Costumes are priced at under $40 and require a security deposit that will be refunded when the costume is brought back. To rent a costume, call Arlene King at (313) 432-7835 or visit www.theparade.org for more info.

"They start off at $25 and go up," said Arlene King, The Parade Company's director of costuming. "We have all types of costumes, fruit, pirates, you name it, we have it. They can go on the internet and pick a costume then they would have to come down and fill out the application. If you rent it for Halloween, we ask that you have it back by the beginning of November if we're going to use it in the parade. We do a lot of fruit costumes now, fairytales."

Hob Nobble Gobble moves to a new location on a new date

In previous years, the Hob Nobble Gobble charity fundraiser was held on the day before America's Thanksgiving Parade on the Michigan State Fairgrounds. This year, it will be held on Saturday, Nov. 20, one week before the parade kicks off. The Hob Nobble Gobble will be held inside Ford Field in downtown Detroit.

"We're excited about the date change and the venue change as well," Rodriguez explained. "Especially since it's a Saturday, I think people won't have to rush as much to get their Thanksgiving meals prepared and that kind of thing. We're expecting a really good turnout. It should be good this year."

There are three levels of ticket pricing for the Hob Nobble Gobble. The benefit ticket starts at $200 for children and goes up to $350 for adults or $3,500 for a table of 10. The patron ticket begins at $500 and goes up to $5,000 for a table of 10. The superstar ticket starts at $1,000 and goes up to $10,000 for a table of 10. All proceeds benefit the parade itself.

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

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

The Spirit of Detroit float sponsored by Ilitch Holdings, Inc.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

The Detroit Jazz Festival float

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Two paper mache clowns

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

These are some of the costumes available for renting.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

More costumes available for Halloween rental

 

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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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