Mounted police, skateboarder represent Michigan during virtual inaugural parade

George Hunter
The Detroit News

A Michigan mounted police team and a skateboarder who zoomed past Comerica Park helped usher in the Biden administration during Wednesday's presidential inauguration virtual parade.

The Michigan Multi-Jurisdictional Mounted Police Drill Team and Color Guard made its fourth appearance at a presidential inaugural parade, although Wednesday's performance was broadcast from an unknown Michigan location.

The Michigan Multi-Jurisdictional Mounted Police Drill Team and Color Guard

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, this year's "Parade Across America," the 59th inaugural procession, was virtual. After President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris were escorted to the White House, individual parade performances were broadcast from locations across the country.

The Michigan contingent of 23 mounted officers from around the state shared its few seconds of airtime with the American Sidesaddle Association, as host Tony Goldwyn said, "Horses and their riders are adding to the majesty of this event."

The Michigan team marched in the inaugural parades of former president Barack Obama in 2009 and 2013 and former president Donald Trump in 2017. 

Although a Detroit appearance wasn't listed in the official parade schedule, the city got about a second of screen time during a video montage of skateboarders doing various tricks. A man was shown skating past Comerica Park to the strains of Fleetwood Mac's "Dreams," a nod to Nathan Apodaca's TikTok video that went viral last year.

The parade also featured four "heroes":

  •  Dr. Jason Campbell, the “TikTok Doc,” a resident in the Department of Anesthesiology in Portland, Oregon, who used the app to "lift spirits during the COVID-19 pandemic and connect with young people," a news release said.
  • Cathy Cluck, a history teacher at Westlake High School in Austin, Texas. "To teach her students during virtual learning, Cathy went on a 15 day road trip to virtually teach history from the places where it happened," the release said.
  • Mama Mikki Stevens, an 80-year old from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, "who leads a community-service oriented, musical/comedy performance organization (the) Red Hot Mamas," the release said. "Since the pandemic hit, they have performed in assisted living and retirement home parking lots — parading around the buildings so all the quarantined residents could see the performance."
  • Jason Zgonc, a 12-year old trumpeter from Atlanta who "played all summer during hospital workers’ break times to cheer them up," the release said.

Other performers and appearances included the drumlines from the University of Delaware and Howard University — the alma maters of Biden and Harris, respectively; comedian Jon Stewart; the New Radicals; and DJ Cassidy's Pass The Mic, featuring Earth Wind & Fire, Nile Rodgers, Kathy Sledge, the Trans Chorus of Los Angeles, the Washington Chorus and the Triumph Baptist Church Choir.

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Twitter: @GeorgeHunter_DN