Detroit’s Thanksgiving Day parade, officially referred to as “America’s Thanksgiving Parade”, is back again this year for its 97th time! The tradition first began back in 1924, the same year Macy’s hosted its first Thanksgiving Day Parade, and since then the event has evolved into one of the most anticipated annual events that Detroit gets the honor of hosting each year.
To make sure that you get to enjoy this year’s Thanksgiving Parade in Detroit, we’ve taken the stress out of planning your Thanksgiving morning by giving you all the information you need in one spot!
Is America’s Thanksgiving Parade free?
Yes, as a result of the contributions to the events’ sponsors attending America’s Thanksgiving Parade in Detroit is completely free! However, several locations have established “grandstand seating” sections along the parade route that have tickets on sale for between $60 and $70 per person.
America’s Thanksgiving Parade route
The Thanksgiving Parade in Detroit runs approximately three miles in total down Woodward Avenue from Kirby Street to Congress Street. The Parade will start promptly at 8:45 am this Thursday and is expected to go on for around an hour and a half to two hours. Of course, this year’s installment of America’s Thanksgiving Parade will include the usual array of sponsored floats and local marching bands, but the stars of the show, the traditional “Big Head Corps” and of course, Santa Clause himself are set to make an appearance as well.
Where to park during America’s Thanksgiving Parade
For those who need to drive into the city to attend the 2024 America’s Thanksgiving Parade, the nice thing is that several parking complexes are near the Parade’s route, however, Detroit’s local government suggests the following two parking facilities:
Facility Hours Rate
Ford Underground Garage Nov. 24 – 5 a.m. – 7 p.m. $10
30 East Jefferson Avenue Nov. 25 – 6 a.m. – 7 p.m. $ 5 (2 hrs. or less)
$10 (2-4 hrs.)
$15 (maximum rate)
Eastern Market Garage Nov. 24 – 6 a.m. – 9 p.m. $ 20
2727 Riopelle Street Nov. 25 – Closed
Normal business hours resume Monday, Nov. 28.
Road closures during America’s Thanksgiving Parade
Anyone driving into the Downtown area of Detroit should be aware that some road closures for the parade are going to start Wednesday, November 23rd, the day before the parade as early as 9 am. The full list of road closures because of the Thanksgiving Parade in Detroit is as follows:
On Wednesday, November 23
- Woodward between W. Grand Blvd and Warren will be closing at 9 am
- Woodward from Warren to Congress will be closing at noon.
- Atwater between Civic Center Drive and Third will be closing at 3 pm
- Griswold between Fort and Congress will be closing at 6 pm
Thursday, November 24
Drivers may cross Woodward at the following intersections until 5 am: Warren, Alexandrine, MLK/Mack, Fisher Service Drive, Adams, Park/Witherall, John R/Clifford, and Grand River.
Woodward from W. Grand Blvd. to Larned will be closed completely between 5 am and 4 pm on Thanksgiving Day.
The following streets will be closed starting at 5 am on Thanksgiving morning and reopen after the Turkey Trot finishes at approximately 10 a.m.:
- W. Jefferson from the Lodge Freeway to Cabacier
- Michigan at Cass
- Fort Street from Trumbull to Woodward
- Congress from Shelby to Randolph
- Larned from Shelby to Randolph
- Shelby from Congress to Michigan
- Michigan from Cass to Woodward
- Monroe from Woodward to Randolph
- Lafayette Blvd. from Trumbull to Griswold
- Washington Blvd. from Adams to Congress
- Atwater from Civic Center Dr. to Third
Additionally, the southbound Lodge exits at W. Jefferson/Cobo and Larned Street (Exit 1A and Exit 1B) and the northbound Lodge exit at W. Jefferson (Exit 1A) will be closed beginning at 7 am and during the entire Turkey Trot. The Larned Street exit will reopen after the Turkey Trot is finished.
Public transit during America’s Thanksgiving Parade in Detroit
If you are planning to take public transit to attend the Thanksgiving Parade, then you will be happy to hear that the People Mover will be free on Thanksgiving Day and is going to operate between 6 am and 7 pm.
Regarding the DDOT Bus routes, as a result of street closures related to the parade and the Turkey Trot, not only should passengers expect some delays but there will also be several reroutes to both eastside and westside buses. Additionally, DDOT buses are going to operate on a Sunday schedule on Thanksgiving Day for all regular routes and are going to cost the standard rate.
The following routes are going to be located on Beaubien between Congress and Lafayette at the Bricktown People Mover Station.
- 5 Van Dyke/Lafayette
- 6 Gratiot (Gratiot will be located on Congress)
- 9 Jefferson
- 31 Mack
- 52 Chene
- 67 Cadillac/Harper
Passengers can transfer by way of the People Mover for free (Bricktown Station on Beaubien at Congress and Michigan Station on Cass at Michigan)
These routes will be located at:
- 3 Grand River will be at Cass on Michigan
- 4 Woodward will be available at the Rosa Parks Transit Center (Bay 15)
- 16 Dexter will be available at the Rosa Parks Transit Center (Bay 14)
Weather forecast during America’s Thanksgiving Parade
Fortunately for Detroiters and those traveling to the city to view this year’s parade, the weather is going to be dry and mostly sunny! However, anyone planning to attend the parade should bring their coat, and maybe even their mittens and scarf too, because the temperature is set to be around 35 degrees when the parade starts at 8:45 am. Later on in the day, the temperature should rise to a high of around 50 degrees, making it the perfect temperature for some outdoor family festivities; whether that be a walk around the block or a family football match.
The sponsors of this year’s Thanksgiving Parade in Detroit
America’s Thanksgiving Parade itself is presented by Gardner White Annual Events, who will continue to be the main sponsor of the event through 2031. In addition to them, other key sponsors include Ford, Emagine Entertainment, Dickinson Wright, and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.
Aside from the corporate sponsors, there are also around 1,500 or so volunteers whose contributions ensure that America’s Thanksgiving Parade goes off without a hitch!