Detroit's Thanksgiving Day Parade will be a televised only event this year

Jasmin Barmore
The Detroit News

Detroit’s annual Thanksgiving Parade is still on this year as a live production in the heart of downtown, but don't try to bring your family down to catch a glimpse. 

America's Thanksgiving Parade, presented by Gardner White, will be a televised event only this year. This year’s format was designed as a safe way to continue the 94-year-old tradition during the unprecedented times we are living in, sponsor The Parade Company said in a statement. 

Comerica Bank employees with the Clownie balloon in the America's Thanksgiving Day Parade in 2015.

The theme this year will be "We are One Together," in an effort to honor the essential front-line workers and the heroes of the COVID-19 devastation, the statement said. 

“We have an extraordinary passion in bringing America’s Thanksgiving Parade presented by Gardner White to our community and believe this is an opportunity to show the country how our remarkable city and people have come together to make this beloved tradition happen,” Tony Michaels, President and CEO of The Parade Company, said in the release. “Our team has reviewed every aspect with the city of Detroit and the Detroit Police Department to ensure a safe environment. This is truly Detroit’s greatest tradition.”

This year’s parade includes a one-hour nationally syndicated broadcast that will reach over 185 television market across the country. WDIV-TV (Channel 4) will remain as the show's presenters.

The Parade Company also announced the Turkey Trot will not take place downtown this year and will exist only as a virtual race. The company's annual Hob Nobble Gobble presented by Ford Motor Company has been canceled and will resume on November 19, 2021, at Ford Field.