America's Thanksgiving Parade, Turkey Trot go virtual amid pandemic

Posted at 7:17 AM, Nov 26, 2020

DETROIT — The coronavirus pandemic is changing America’s Thanksgiving parade with thousands missing out on this Detroit tradition.

This year the parade is a televised event, with everything being pre-recorded to avoid the potential of any crowds gathering.

“We knew that we’ve got to have something for people see, this is part of our fabric,” CEO of the Parade Company Tony Michaels said.

Michaels said there were plans to have the floats travel down Woodward on live TV, blocking off downtown. However, the three week pause took effect in Michigan changing the parade once again.

“The governors orders came down a week ago Sunday and said 25 people at an event and we received a call from the health department last Wednesday and we had to move quickly,” said Michaels.

It’s a tradition thousands are missing out on in-person, including Rebecca Rende of Ann Arbor. She was planning on going this year in remembrance of her father. A tradition they used to do together.

“One of my favorite things that I remember was you know either sitting on his shoulders, or you know he would just hold me and dance you know thinking about those memories this year especially are really really hard because I lost his about five years ago,” said Rende.

The Turkey Trot is also going virtual. That is what Gloria Vettese and her son Aaron will be doing together. They usually go to the parade, but this year they will be running their own 5K outside Macomb College.

“When we realized we couldn’t go to the parade this year I just kind of was trying to think of something that was going to get us out of the house,” said Vettese.

For more information on the virtual Turkey Trot and how to partake, click here.