An adjective like "magical" or "enchanting" should be automatically attached to the name Hob Nobble Gobble, the premier fundraiser for America's Thanksgiving Parade presented by Art Van Furniture. The dazzling holiday tradition for thousands of Metro Detroiters continued on Friday at Ford Field as a sold-out crowd filed in wearing their black-tie best — young and old — to enjoy what is certainly one of the best annual parties of the year.

Presented by Ford Motor Co., Hob Nobble Gobble was an electrifying kickoff to this year's parade themed, "Walking on Sunshine." From end zone to end zone, this party includes it all — amusement park rides such as flying saucers, a Ferris wheel and bumper cars; carnival games with amazing prizes; and a half-dozen gift stations where guests load up on everything from Girl Scout cookies to baseball caps.

And if the venue decorated in larger-than-life parade props isn't enough to bring out the kid in everyone, certainly the cast of characters inhabiting it should be. There were dancing elves, the Fred Hill Briefcase Drill Team, the Guinness World Records holder of balloon magic, marching bands, and of course, all the way from the North Pole, Mr. Santa Claus himself.

WJR's Paul W. Smith was master of ceremonies with energetic performances from Fifty Amp Fuse, pop artists MKTO, and rapper Vanilla Ice, who packed the dance floor from the moment he hit the stage to the moment he left.

"We are grateful for the generosity of Ford Motor Co. and all of our fabulous sponsors and partners who continue to support this magical evening," said Tony Michaels, president/CEO of The Parade Company. "As one of the most anticipated events in Detroit, Hob Nobble Gobble helps to ensure that America's Thanksgiving Parade presented by Art Van remains one of the greatest parades in the country."

For 25 years, the family-friendly Hob Nobble Gobble presented by Ford Motor Co. has helped to raise funds for The Parade Company to produce America's Thanksgiving Parade presented by Art Van Furniture. Ticket prices ranged from $350 to $1,000, with $200 ticket for children 6 and under.

Chuck Bennett is the Fox 2 News Style Ambassador and the creator of the Social D, a website that represents the social side of Metro Detroit. See

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