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The Parade Company is open for tours; has costumes available for renting

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

The Parade Company Studios are located at 9500 Mt. Elliott in Detroit, Mich.

by Jason Rzucidlo
americajr@americajr.com

 

DETROIT – The Parade Company Studios is where all the magic takes place for America's Thanksgiving Parade. It is located inside an old car factory in Detroit at 9500 Mt. Elliott. Guided walking tours are available all year round from January through December. The 110,000 square foot studio features floats, papier-mache heads, costumes and much more. Visitors will be able to watch as artists create new floats for the next parade. In addition, thousands of great costumes are available for renting just in time for Halloween.

Tours can be scheduled Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. An elementary school curriculum is available. Guided tours are available for groups of 10 or more. Reservations are required. Tours are wheelchair accessible.

"It's a great opportunity to see all the floats up-close and personal," said Renee Gonyeau, director of volunteer and tour services for the Parade Company. "Learn what it takes to put on a parade and all the secrets of everything. Tours cost $12 for adults and $8 for children, $10 for seniors and we do offer discounts for large groups and we have special packages for girl scout troops and boy scout troops. The best way to book a tour is to call us and we'll reserve a spot for you."

Thousands are volunteers are needed for the day of America's Thanksgiving Parade. Year round, volunteers are needed to work on new floats and other events such as the Target Fireworks.

"We always have lots of opportunities to volunteer," Gonyeau said. "One is to visit our website at www.theparade.org and click on the 'volunteer' tab. Under that tab, we have all the different positions that are available in the parade as well as descriptions. There's a volunteer application that volunteers would need to fill out. We'd love to have people join us."

Costumes are available at the Parade Company just in time for Halloween. If you ever went to America's Thanksgiving Parade and said, "I want to dress up as that person," now is your chance. Costumes start at $25 each and go up to $100, depending on the size and shape.

"We have over 3,000 costumes," said Arlene King, costume director for The Parade Company. "We make new costumes every year to go with our floats. They may want 10 or up to 40 or 50 people. We make costumes for each one. Anything that we are not going to use in the parade is available for rent. So we may have man in the yellow hat, maybe a prince and a princess, pirates. They can call to see what's available. Come in, fill out the application. We do ask for security deposit to rent the costume. When they bring the costume back, the deposit is taken off."

Some of the costumes come with a prop, such as a crown.

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

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

A look at some of the costumes that are available for rent.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Floats that have been used in various parades.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

The bookworm is the longest float made by the Parade Company.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Papier-Mache heads that are worn in the parade.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Santa's Sleigh is always the last float in the parade.

 

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Copyright © 2009 AmericaJR.com. All Rights Reserved.
Unauthorized duplication or use of Text, 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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