Thanksgiving traditions return to downtown Detroit

The Detroit skyline is seen on April 7, 2021. Photo by Mark Brown/

For the first time in two years, it will feel like American Thanksgiving in Detroit.

Following a scaled-down version of America’s Thanksgiving Parade last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a full-scale parade returns to the streets of Detroit on Thursday, kicking off the unofficial start of the holiday season.

The parade returns to Woodward Avenue, stepping off at 10 a.m. on Warren Avenue then heading south, ending on Woodward Avenue and Congress. The parade is expected to be fully open to spectators after last year’s march was done virtually.

For those who may be heading into Detroit, there will be some street closures. Woodward Avenue will be shut down between Warren Avenue and Jefferson Avenue until the parade is completed. Side streets leading toward the parade route may also be closed.

The tradition continues with NFL football at Ford Field. The Detroit Lions will go for their first win of the season against the Chicago Bears. The kickoff is at 12:30 p.m.

For those able to go over for Black Friday shopping, many big-box stores will be closed on Thursday, but open early Friday morning. Check with the individual store to avoid a wasted trip. The same goes for those heading to Ann Arbor on Saturday for the Michigan-Ohio State football game.

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) reminds drivers headed to the US that proof of vaccination is required, along with a negative PCR COVID-19 test. The latter requirement, though, is due to be lifted on Tuesday for Canadian travellers who are fully vaccinated.