Hob Nobble Gobble returns to kick off holiday season, raise funds for Parade Company

Chuck Bennett
Special to The Detroit News

Hob Nobble Gobble, easily one of the most spectacular annual events of the year, returned with a bang after last year’s pandemic break. It’s a great way to kick off the holiday season with families coming together, dressed in black-tie attire, to support the Parade Company. 

“Detroit is such a great city,” says Tony Michaels, president of the Parade Company. “It’s so exciting to see the big smiles on everyone’s faces. I love seeing the families and kids enjoying themselves and supporting these important causes.” 

Parade company president Tony Michaels, left, and Rod Alberts of the Detroit Auto Dealers Association.

Nearly 2,000 people, adults and children, gathered at Ford Field on Friday as it was transformed into a fantasy party venue. The food was amazing — steak, salmon, pasta, tacos — stretching all the way across the 50-yard line, including trucks on the sideline that served hot french fries in a cup and totally addictive elephant ears. 

Sheila and Bishop Edgar Vann, who is co-Grand Marshall for America's Thanksgiving Parade along with Calvin Johnson.

There was a carnival midway that featured a variety of games, prizes and amusement park rides. Cartoon and parade characters mingled among the guests as massive overhead inflatables — Cookie Monster and Elmo — floated above. 

Eileen Kiriluk, left, Danialle Karmanos, Jackie Mosher, Lauren Rakolta, Gabrielle Galivan

At the entrance, each guest was given a colorful tote to collect stocking stuffer gifts at designated stations. Halfway through the party, Santa arrived with a marching band and dancing elves. He set up on a stage to listen to all his personal requests. 

Nadine Cartwright, left, Dallas Cartwright, Alexis Scott, and Elin Scott

Local favorites Your Generation in Concert provided live dance music prior to a special appearance from hip hop legend Big Boi, best known for being a longtime member of the duo Outkast with Andre 3000. They brought the house down with his hit, “I Like the Way You Move.” 

Spiros Karmanos enjoying the perks of Hob Nobble Gobble.

Hob Nobble Gobble is the Parade Company’s premier fund-raising event and gives families a sneak peek at what’s coming up in this year’s America’s Thanksgiving Parade presented by Gardner-White. For more than 20 years, Hob Nobble Gobble has helped raise money for the Parade Company to produce America’s Thanksgiving Parade. Tickets to the event started at $350 per person. 

Chuck Bennett is a freelance writer and the Fox 2 News Style Ambassador.