My brother and his wife recently moved back to Michigan after living for several years on the East Coast.  Now they live in "the D" - Detroit.  Now you may have heard that Detroit is a dying city, that no one on earth would want to live there.  Well, while there may be some who say that, many of the people who actually live there think that it's a great place to live! They are happy to be a part of the revitalization and rebuilding of the city.

My brother's new place is within easy walking distance of Ford Field (home of the Detroit Lions), Joe Louis Arena (home of the Detroit Red Wings), Eastern Market, Greektown, Cobo Hall, and most of downtown.  They can catch the People Mover and get to most other key locations in the city within minutes.

During our recent Thanksgiving visit, we decided to go view the America's Thanksgiving Day Parade, one of the oldest and the 2nd largest Turkey day parade in the United States.  We walked through Greektown and over to the Compuware Building to grab some Tim Hortons' Timbits.  Inside the lobby, just across from the Hard Rock Cafe, was an amazing water sculpture.

We scouted our spot along the Campus Martius Park.  While we were waiting for the parade to start, I ventured over to visit the Michigan Soldiers & Sailors Monument. 


Then I spied this gem, just down the street.  It's the former State Savings Bank building on the corner of West Fort & Shelby in Detroit. It sits about a block from the Penobscot. How could I not grab a shot?!
After my brief architectural detour, the parade began...

 The Ford Motor Company float.

The General Motors Float

Pepsi Float, featuring R&B artist Dwele.

This float had high school kids doing the half pipe on bikes, roller blades & skateboards.  

The Budweiser Clydsdales were present and thrilled my girls!

The Fred Hill Briefcase drill team marched along.  Unfortunately we were not in the right spot to see them perform.  My mom has been a huge fan of this drill team for many years.

 Mother goose and friends

The Jazz Festival float

This marching band (I can't remember which one - sorry!) decorated their instruments in festive colors.

Part of the Ilitch Holdings float featured Bert & Ernie.

This woman is part of the Big Head Corps who march every year with paper mache heads or bodies.

Center piece of the three part The Wiz float.

One third of the Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Michigan float


My sister-in-law works for the Skillman Foundation and actually walked the parade alongside their float as an apple tree.   Check out the float link above to read about how they made one Detroit boy's dream become reality.


This balloon, Elephante, was designed by an 8th grader in 2008 and brought to life by the Skillman Foundation and the Parade company.  It was featured again in this year's parade.

What Thanksgiving parade would be complete without a visit from Santa?!

After the parade was complete, we wandered down Woodward to view the Spirit of Detroit sculpture in front of the municipal center.  The quote behind the statue is from 2 Corinthians 3:17 and reads "Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty."

As we made our way back to my brother's house, we passed several rose bushes in bloom... on the 25th of November!  What a great image for this lovely city which, despite everything, continues to blossom.

2 Responses
  1. Sara Says:

    Nice review of Detroit and the parade. Some day the good news will outweigh the bad. In the meantime, there is a lot to love.

  2. Mommasaurus Says:

    Enjoyed this review, Sus - I'm beginning to be a believer that Detroit ISN'T all the horrible stuff I always heard! Wish, though, that you'd included Tiger Stadium in your close locations paragraph! 8>)
    It'd be great if this got picked up by some state and/or national media....

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