Nantz named Thanksgiving Day parade's grand marshal

Charles E. Ramirez
The Detroit News
America's Thanksgiving Parade, continuing a holiday tradition in Detroit since 1924, heads down Woodward Avenue past Midtown on Thursday, November 23, 2017.

CBS sportscaster Jim Nantz will be the grand marshal of this year's Thanksgiving Day parade in Detroit, event organizers said Thursday.

“Jim Nantz is a true media legend who has been seen and heard in households across America for decades,” Tony Michaels, president and CEO of The Parade Company, said in a statement. “We are thrilled to have Jim serve as Grand Marshal of America’s Thanksgiving Parade presented by Art Van and look forward to having him join us on Woodward Avenue on Thanksgiving morning.”

CBS Sportscaster Jim Nantz will serve as grand marshal for the 92nd America's Thanksgiving Parade

A University of Houston graduate, Nantz joined the CBS Television Network in 1985 where he currently serves as the lead play-by-play announcer for the NFL. 

A frequent play-by-play announcer for the Detroit Lions' Thanksgiving Day game in Detroit, Nantz and his family have attended and enjoyed America’s Thanksgiving Parade for years, organizers said. 

America’s Thanksgiving Parade presented by Art Van is in its 92nd year. This year's theme is “Art!! Heart & Soul!” and will commemorate the life and legacy of Art Van Elslander, the furniture retail giant and longtime supporter of the parade supporter. Van Elslander died in February at the age of 87.

Read more: Furniture retail giant Van Elslander dies at 87

This year's parade will be held on Nov. 22 and air on WDIV-TV (Channel 4) in addition to being broadcast in more than 190 major cities across the country.

America’s Thanksgiving Parade was started in 1924 as the Michigan Thanksgiving Parade. Every year, hundreds of thousands of people line Woodward to watch the procession of more than 60 floats, balloons and marching bands travel about 2 ½ miles from West Kirby to Congress.

In 1990, the parade lost its primary sponsor — the now-defunct Hudson’s department store chain — and was on the brink of being canceled until furniture retailing giant Art Van Elslander rescued it. His company signed on to become the parade’s presenting sponsor in 2013.

Twitter: @CharlesERamirez