Tag Archives: looking back

looking back at the thanksgiving parade as it keeps marching on ahead



back in my advertising days, america’s thanksgiving parade in detroit was one of our clients. as i watch it this morning, i have many memories, both fond, and some, not so much:

– spending all night on thanksgiving eve, in the parade warehouse and in the cold out on woodward avenue as the floats rolled out and news affiliates wanted live shots

– media fighting for best position for the event

– driving golf carts down our usually packed busy roads, no cars allowed during set up, surveying the situation, and getting such a very cool and different view

– chasing a news anchor through a scary neighborhood the night before, as he sped his way towards the scene with his cameraman, drunk and angry he had to work, got a flat tire and i just kept going, local homeless guy kindly helped me with my tire and i jumped out , ran to the street and got the live shot just in time

– having the 4 tops as a float attraction, though only 3 were still alive and hoping no one would notice, then 1 of the 3 went on a bender, was lost somewhere in detroit and pulled up in a limo, in his clothes from the night before, just as the parade was about to begin

– cinderella got the flu just as she was getting in her costume to ride in her carriage, had to have an intern fill in

– giant balloon untethering itself and flying across the border to our friends in canada

– communication source, walkie talkies and radios going out, trying to make decisions based on a ‘best guess’ approach

– volunteers getting ‘fired’ by an ego-driven person at the top, for not being ‘camera-worthy,’ having to put a positive p.r. spin on this 

–  celebrities, bands, clowns, animals, law enforcement, athletes, characters, charity events, music, lost children, artists, contests, security, parking, coaches, costumes, twirlers, technology, floats, marchers, bad weather, live tv, and the crowd – somehow it all went off no matter what did or didn’t happen behind the scenes. as crazy and sleep depriving and dizzying as it was, i loved it all (now that i am looking back and watching it from the warmth of a living room, drinking coffee, and just taking it all in from a cozy couch.) happy thanksgiving to all.

   If you’re not in the parade, you watch the parade. That’s life.  – Mike Ditka