DETROIT, Oct. 5, 2011 – Ford Motor Company, Ford Motor Company Fund and The Parade Company today announced a major partnership that increases Ford’s longtime support of one of the country’s largest and longest-running parades – America’s Thanksgiving Parade®. In addition, Bill and Lisa Ford will serve as this year’s co-grand marshals for the parade, which is celebrating its 85th anniversary on Thursday, Nov. 24.
“It’s an honor to take part in a time-honored tradition that is enjoyed by millions of families across the country,” said Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford. “It also is a great opportunity to rally the community to reach out and help our neighbors in need during the upcoming holiday season and beyond.”
During the week of Nov. 7, Ford Motor Company, Ford Motor Company Fund and The Parade Company will launch a community outreach program and multimedia campaign to encourage monetary and food donations to Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan, which has experienced an increase of 60 percent in people served since 2006. The campaign, “Ford: Driving Food Home for the Holidays and Beyond,” will run through the end of February to support Michigan’s hungry families through the holidays and later winter months.
As the official vehicle of the 85th America’s Thanksgiving Parade, more than 40 Ford cars and trucks will participate in the parade, with the new Ford Focus Electric in the lead as official pace car. F-Series trucks, Mustangs and other Ford vehicles will participate in other parade activities such as carrying celebrities and pulling floats.
“Ford Motor Company and the Ford family are beloved by Detroiters and they have invested substantially in the city and region for generations,” said Tony Michaels, president and CEO, The Parade Company. “We want to thank Bill and Lisa Ford and Ford Motor Company, for being a major supporter of The Parade Company and America's Thanksgiving Parade, and also for their overwhelming commitment to make a positive impact in the lives of so many in need through Gleaners Community Food Bank.”
Ford’s “Driving a Brighter Future” float will be featured in the parade, and the Ford Focus Electric will serve as the float’s highlighted vehicle. The Parade Company art staff worked closely with Ford employees to design the float and Ford employee volunteers assisted The Parade Company with the build.
This year’s America’s Thanksgiving Parade theme, “So Much to Believe In,” will feature crowd favorites and new surprises with more than 60 parade units, including floats, balloons, marching bands, clowns and specialty acts. The 1.5-mile-long parade steps off at 9:05 a.m. at Woodward Avenue and Mack and ends at Woodward and Congress in downtown Detroit. The two-hour parade will be featured locally on WDIV-Local 4, and the first hour will be part of a nationally syndicated broadcast. News/Talk 760 WJR also will broadcast live from the parade.
About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 166,000 employees and about 70 plants worldwide, the company's automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford's products, please visit www.ford.com.
About The Parade Company
Founded in 1984, The Parade Company is a not-for-profit organization governed by the Michigan Thanksgiving Parade Foundation whose board of directors is comprised of key civic and corporate leaders in the greater Detroit region. The Parade Company is celebrating 85 years of Parade tradition in Detroit. The mission is to fund, create and execute the best family events in metro Detroit. The Parade Company staff, the board of directors and thousands of parade volunteers work year-round to bring a wide variety of magnificent events to the City of Detroit, each year, including the Target Fireworks, Fifth Third Turkey Trot and America’s Thanksgiving Parade®. Visit www.TheParade.org for more information or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.