America's Thanksgiving Day Parade will have in-person crowds in 2021, keeping downtown Detroit tradition

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America's Thanksgiving Day Parade returns for an in-person celebration this year. - COURTESY OF LOVIO GEORGE COMMUNICATIONS + DESIGN
  • Courtesy of lovio george communications + design
  • America's Thanksgiving Day Parade returns for an in-person celebration this year.

Things may not be, you know, back to "normal," but it appears as though a beloved Detroit tradition is returning to our holiday calendars for a live and in-person celebration this year.

America's Thanksgiving Day Parade is back, Captain Underpants.



Last year, the state's COVID-19 restrictions on outdoor gathering sizes gobbled up the 94th annual America's Thanksgiving Day Parade, which forced organizers to pivot to a televised-only, gawker-less format. However, for this year's parade, which turns the big 95, crowds are once again invited to line Woodward Avenue to cheer on the marching bands and floats, and wait for the man of the season, Santa Claus.

The Gardner-White-sponsored parade — which will take place on Thursday, Nov. 25, and air live on WDIV-TV, as well as across 185 markets throughout the U.S. — will follow suit with previous years' parades by embracing a theme. This year, "Love on Woodward" will serve as inspiration for float designs and, well, just some general good feels for parade spectators and those watching from home.


OK — so this is all good news, but what if, you know, we backslide in terms of pandemic progress?

According to The Detroit News, organizers say they will stay abreast on information and recommendations from Detroit's health department and "will do what's appropriate at the time." As to what that means, well, they didn't specify. Guests are, however, invited to wear masks if they want, but as of now, they are not required or mandatory to attend the parade in person.

For more information, see theparade.org.

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