Getting to Detroit's Thanksgiving Day Parade

Sarah Rahal
The Detroit News

Thousands will make their way to downtown Detroit for America's Thanksgiving Parade along Woodward Avenue, but arriving at the destination can be a problem.

Attendees who don't plan on taking car-sharing rides with Uber or Lyft should consider one of the following options, some of which are free for the holiday.

Members of the Big Head Corp march past parade goers during the 89th annual America's Thanksgiving Parade along Woodward Avenue Thursday, November 26, 2015.

Detroit People Mover 

The 2.9-mile looped system has 13 stations, which will be free on Thanksgiving Day from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. courtesy of Sprint LTE network. It will resume service at 9 a.m. on Friday. 


For a full list of route schedules and times, visit online at

As a result of street closures, DDOT customers can expect delays. Routes affected include: 

  • #7 Cadillac-Harper
  • #10 Chene 
  • #25 Jefferson
  • #31 Mack
  • #34 Gratiot
  • #48 Van Dyke

Standard fares are $1.50 with $0.25 transfers.


Downtown's streetcar will not be running on Thursday since it would obstruct the view of the parade. It plans to only make stops from Grand Boulevard and Sproat Street between 2-6:30 p.m. and will run until 11 p.m. on Wednesday. 

Qline officials notified riders on Twitter of possible delays on Wednesday due to parade preparations. 

The annual Thanksgiving Day celebration, which dates back to 1924, attracts about a million people a year to the event which features floats, helium-filled balloons, marching bands and specialty acts.

The Prelude begins at 6 a.m. and the parade will kick off from the corner of Kirby and Woodward at 8:50 a.m. 

Detroit television's Carmen Harlan and Grammy-nominated rapper Big Sean will serve as Grand Marshals for the 91st parade. 

Read more: Carmen Harlan, Big Sean set as parade Grand Marshals



Road Closures

The following streets will have limited access beginning at noon on Wednesday:

  • 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 
  •  Farnsworth/Putnam from Cass to John R 

The following streets will be closed beginning at 5 a.m. on Thursday:

  • Michigan Avenue at Cass Avenue
  • Fort Street from Trumbull to Woodward Avenue
  • Congress from Shelby to Randolph 
  • Larned from Shelby to Randolph 
  • Shelby from Congress to Michigan Avenue
  • Michigan from Cass to Woodward Avenue
  • Monroe from Woodward to Randolph Street
  • Lafayette Blvd. from Trumbull to Griswold 
  • Washington Blvd. from Adams to Congress 
  • Atwater from Civic Center Drive to Third Avenue

These streets, including Michigan Avenue and Washington Boulevard, will reopen after the Turkey Trot at about 10 a.m.

Lastly, north and southbound lodge exits at W. Jefferson/Cobo and Larned Street will be closed until the Turkey Trot ends.