photo: WWJ

Guide To 2018 America's Thanksgiving Parade In Detroit

November 20, 2018 - 11:37 am

DETROIT (WWJ) - A cherished Detroit tradition, the 92nd America’s Thanksgiving Parade, presented by Art Van, is ready to march down Woodward.

The two-hour parade — one of the country’s largest — will step off on the corner of Woodward Avenue and Kirby at 8:50 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 22, and end at Woodward and Congress in downtown Detroit.

This year’s theme is "Art!! Heart & Soul!" to commemorate the life and legacy of longtime parade supporter Art Van Elslander.


Grand Marshals: Jim Nantz -- three-time Emmy Award winner and five-time National Sportscaster of the Year recipient.

Celebrity appearances: Baseball Hall of Famer and former Detroit Tiger Jack Morris, star of Disney Channel’s ‘Andi Mack” Sofia Wylie, Olympic silver winning snowboarder Kyle Mack, Olympic bronze medal Ice Dancers Maia and Alex Shibutani and local star 2018 Boston Marathon winner Desiree Linden from Washington Township. Bay City native Korie Lee Blossey of Disney’s ALADDIN will kick-off the live WDIV broadcast with a special performance.


Street Closures: If you plan to drive anywhere near Woodward on Wednesday or Thursday, you might encounter delays.

• M-1/Woodward, CLOSED, Grand Blvd to Jefferson, 1 p.m. Wed. - 4 p.m. Thu.
• M-85/Fort St, CLOSED, Griswold to 10th, Thu. 6 a.m. - noon
• NB/SB M-10 exit to W Jefferson, RAMP CLOSED, Thu. 6 a.m. - noon
• SB M-10 exit to Larned, RAMP CLOSED, Thu. 6 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

The following streets will have limited access beginning at noon on Wednesday, Nov. 21: Amsterdam/Piquette from Cass to John R; Harper from Cass to John R; Palmer from Cass to John R; Ferry from Cass to John R; and Farnsworth/Putnam from Cass to John R.

The following streets will be closed beginning at 5 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 22. These streets including Michigan Avenue and Washington Blvd. will reopen after the Turkey Trot at approximately 10 a.m.: 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; and Atwater from Civic Center Dr. to Third.

People Mover: Those coming downtown for the morning runs, parade and the Lions Game can ride The Detroit People Mover free from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., courtesy of Sprint. All 13 stations are open this year, with the closest to the parade being Grand Circus Park, Broadway and Cadillac.

Parking:  The earlier you get downtown, the better. Between the Turkey Trot, the parade and the Lions, it gets extremely congested in the downtown area, especially since police begin closing some streets on Wednesday evening.

The Parade Company recommends the following facilities for America’s Thanksgiving Parade and the Turkey Trot:

• Ford Underground Garage — 30 East Jefferson Avenue, $10
• Millennium Garage — 423 W. Congress, $10
• Grand Circus Park Garage — 1600-01 Woodward Avenue, $20
• Premier Underground Garage — 1206-08 Woodward Avenue, $10

Many other parking structures and lots in the downtown area are open for the Thanksgiving Day races and the parade. [Get more information, HERE].

Lost Children: Parents can find lost children at the Detroit Police Department Downtown Services, 20 Atwater, or by calling 313-237-2850.

Please Note: The city wants to remind parade watchers that the building of scaffolds and any similar device without a permit is prohibited during Thanksgiving events in downtown Detroit on private or public property. Violators will be ticketed.


There’s nothing worse than being cold during the parade. Make sure you dress in layers and and keep it tuned to WWJ Newsradio 950 for traffic and weather on the 8s, 24 hours-a-day. Get the latest forecast now on our weather page.