America’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in Detroit

Families can line historic Woodward Avenue Nov. 23, 2023, to see the 97th annual parade in downtown Detroit.

What is your family’s favorite Thanksgiving tradition? Maybe an aunt who’s a whiz in the kitchen always brings her infamous sweet potato casserole to dinner. If your family loves to shop, maybe you always enjoy a big breakfast together before heading out to score Black Friday deals. 

For many families, America’s Thanksgiving Parade in Detroit is an important part of their holiday traditions and festivities. A 10K/5K/one-mile Turkey Trot race kicks off the morning, with thousands of participants dressed in costumes as they run and walk the course. 

After the runners complete the parade route, the real Thanksgiving Parade begins. Holiday floats, life-sized characters and larger-than-life balloons head down Woodward Avenue. Local dance squads, marching bands and entertainers showcase their talents, filling downtown with music and dazzling performances. 

If you’re looking to get your littles involved in this holiday tradition and ensure a smooth parade day experience, you’ve come to the right place. Keep a map of the parade route handy, then read up on these easy festive tips to make the annual Thanksgiving parade part of your family’s growing list of holiday traditions. 

Find more Thanksgiving events, turkey trots and ways to celebrate with kids in our Thanksgiving Guide for Metro Detroit Families.

Quick details about America’s Thanksgiving Parade in Detroit

  • When: Nov. 23, 2023, about 8:45-10:15 a.m. 
  • Cost: Free. Reserved seating is $60-70/person. 
  • Parking: Paid parking is available along the parade route. 

Tips for watching the parade

  • Even if you go before you leave home, little ones may still need to use the restroom during the parade. This map shows port-a-potties that are available along the parade route.
  • Don’t want to leave your cozy house but don’t want to miss any of the festivities? Watch the parade live on WDIV, Local 4, streamed live on www.clickondetroit.com. You can also get parade updates by listening on WONC. 
  • Get a behind-the-scenes look at America’s Thanksgiving Parade with a parade studio tour. On the tour of ParadeLand, families will learn more about the Parade’s fascinating history, explore the 200,000-square-foot storyland of floats and discover how award-winning artisans bring them to life.
  • Looking to up your involvement in next year’s parade? Apply for your dance team, marching band or other performance group to showcase their skills at the 2024 America’s Thanksgiving Parade

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Nikki Roberts
Nikki Roberts
Nikki Roberts is the assistant editor on the Metro Parent team. She is always on the lookout for the coolest and trendiest new attractions, restaurants and events for metro Detroit families. Her newsletters, online family guides and exciting digital content keep families informed on all the latest happenings around town.

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