Society: Enchanting Hob Nobble Gobble raises money for Thanksgiving parade

Chuck Bennett
Special to The Detroit News

Hob Nobble Gobble is easily the most magical annual fundraising gala in Metro Detroit. Presented by Ford Motor Co., the event Friday night at Ford Field was filled with larger-than-life cartoon characters, dancing elves, marching bands and a midway of carnival rides and games.

As one of the largest fundraisers of the year for The Parade Company, event planners transformed the Detroit Lions home turf into a mystical, magical wonderland that was enjoyed by more than 2,000 guests. Entire families attended, dressed in their black-tie finest, poised to take part in the multitude of activities offered at this exciting party.

From left,  Danialle Karmanos, rapper Nelly, Leah MacMartin, Lauren Rakolta at Hob Nobble Gobble.

In addition to a Ferris wheel, a giant slide, the Zipper and bumper cars, Hob Nobble Gobble also offers face painting, fun disguises, gifts, prizes, a wall filled with a variety of doughnuts, and a buffet table that extends the entire length of the 50-yard line. There was also a visit from jolly old Saint Nick, who took Christmas list requests from the young and the young at heart.

“This is a great night in Detroit,” said Tony Michaels, president and CEO of The Parade Company. “This is what helps us put on the greatest parade in America.”

Entertainment for the evening was phenomenal. Local band Your Generation in Concert performed a series of popular dance covers that kept the dance floor on jam. The beloved Detroit Youth Choir dazzled the crowd with its unique brand of singing and dancing before rapper Nelly turned up the heat with his smash hit, “Hot in Herre,” and other songs from his repertoire.

Tickets for Hob Nobble Gobble ranged from $350 to $1,000 ($200 for children under 6). The event was sold out. Proceeds will help produce  “America’s Thanksgiving Parade.”

Spiros Karmanos and Zayden Cook.

Chuck Bennett is the creator of