America's Thanksgiving Parade
Detroit's Favorite Family Tradition Presented by Gardner White
Every year, thousands of families flock to Woodward Avenue to enjoy one of Detroit’s favorite traditions: America’s Thanksgiving Parade® presented by Gardner White. As a family-owned business, we’re proud to be the official sponsor of this hometown event for the fourth year in a row.
The second largest and second oldest in the nation, the parade’s history dates back to 1924, when a display manager for J.L. Hudson Co. had the colorful idea. Over the years, it’s evolved from a handful of bands and floats to an award-winning production, featuring six giant balloons, 10 bands, 26 huge floats, 100 papier mâché heads—a perfect way for children of all ages to come together and have fun!
The Parade Co. is the organizer of the event, and its artists have created some of the iconic favorites that make their way down Woodward Avenue, including the mascot Clownie, who was designed in the ‘80s by third-generation Detroit artist Jimmie Thompson.
This year’s Gardner White float is titled "It All Starts Here!" and features iconic Detroit-born firsts including the first tri-colored street light, the first paved road, the first Van Gogh piece displayed in a museum (the DIA), techno music, coney dogs, and the first Gardner White store that opened on Fort Street in 1912.
If you and your family can’t make it downtown in person this year, be sure to tune into WDIV-Local 4 together to watch the 2023 parade on Thanksgiving morning, November 23, 2023. Coverage begins at 6 a.m. on WDIV and the parade broadcast starts at 9 a.m. and ends at 12 p.m. Our family looks forward to sharing this tradition with yours.