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5 Thanksgiving Events You Can’t Miss in Detroit, MI

There’s more to Thanksgiving than eating turkey and watching football. This holiday is also about being grateful for time with family and friends. One excellent way to celebrate with your loved ones is to take part in local events and activities throughout the month of November. Check out the following list of Thanksgiving events in Detroit, grab your family or friends, and don’t miss out on these opportunities for some fall fun.

Strategic Staffing Solutions Turkey Trot

Location: TCF Convention Center

Date: Thursday, November 25

Time: 7:30 a.m. to noon

Cost: $24 to $70

The Strategic Staffing Solutions Turkey Trot is a Detroit tradition that has taken place for the last 38 years. Nicknamed “the parade before the parade,” this event precedes America’s Thanksgiving Parade, presented by Gardner White this year. Thousands of participants start their Thanksgiving Day by getting dressed up in costumes and walking, jogging, or running in the Turkey Trot. This event draws one of the largest spectator crowds for Thanksgiving Day events throughout the city.

There are a variety of races you can choose from, such as the 10K Turkey Trot, 5K Stuffing Trot, and Mashed Potato Mile. You can also choose a combo race, like the Drumstick Double (5K + 10K) or Cranberry Combo (5K + 1-mile race). Everyone who registers for the Turkey Trot gets a long sleeve shirt in their packet. Anyone who finishes the race they signed up for gets awarded a custom-designed medal. The event is stroller-friendly, but pets are not allowed as participants.

America’s Thanksgiving Parade

America's Thanksgiving Parade in Detroit
Image via Flickr by euthman | Licensed by CC BY 2.0

Location: Woodward Avenue between Antoinette Street and Adams Street

Date: Thursday, November 25

Time: 9 a.m. to noon

Cost: Free

America’s Thanksgiving Parade is one of the best holiday parades in all of America, according to USA Today. Since 1924, Detroit has hosted The Parade, and it’s grown into one of the most popular, iconic, and broadly televised parades in the country. From massive helium balloons of your favorite characters to colorful larger-than-life floats, the parade has everything from marching bands to equestrian shows. This year’s 93rd America’s Thanksgiving Parade is no exception, with specialty acts like dance teams, clown performances, musical acts, and celebrity performers.

On Thanksgiving morning, The Parade makes its way along historic Woodward Avenue, spreading holiday cheer with dancing elves, Santa arriving in his sleigh, and thousands of twinkling lights. Nearly a million people gather along the parade route each year to watch this world-class event. If you can’t watch the magic in person, over 185 television and radio outlets bring the parade to your home and over 65 million households across the nation.

Thankful in the City

Location: Madame Cadillac building at Marygrove College

Date: Sunday, November 21

Time: 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Cost: Free

Thankful In The City: A Pre-Thanksgiving Pop-Up Shop is an excellent way to get a jumpstart on your holiday shopping and avoid the crazy crowds. Presented by The Celestial Hood and Waist Bead Envy, this event hosts more than 70 local businesses in an exclusive and gorgeous hall inside the Madame Cadillac building on the campus of Marygrove College. Spend your Sunday afternoon casually wandering among the wide variety of vendors, looking for unique and interesting gifts for your friends and family. You can even do a little holiday shopping for yourself.

In addition to covering all your holiday gift-giving needs, Thankful In The City has lots of other resources for you. You’ll find vendors with delicious food and drinks that you can nibble and sip while you shop. There will be raffles tickets and prizes, and even a DJ keeping the music festive. This secure location provides lots of parking.

The Grecian Center Thanksgiving Dinner

Location: The Grecian Center

Date: Thursday, November 25

Time: 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Cost: $19 for children, $45 for adults

The Grecian Center Thanksgiving Dinner is a delicious and fun way to avoid cooking on Thanksgiving Day. Held at Detroit’s premier event and banquet facility, this exquisite venue dwells in a unique six-acre wooded park and has two beautiful ballrooms. You’ll love exploring this one-of-a-kind classy event center.

The chef will serve you a delightful buffet including starters, sides, entrees, and desserts. Starters include international cheeses and breads, a salad bar, and displays of fresh fruit and jumbo shrimp cocktail. You’ll find a multitude of classic Thanksgiving classics sides, like green bean casserole, stuffing, candied yams, and mashed potatoes. The entree choices are slow-roasted whole turkey with gravy and cranberry sauce and herb encrusted prime rib with au Jus and horseradish. A large assortment of pies finishes the feast.

The Mighty Gobbler 5K and 1-Mile Run/Walk

Location: Lutheran Church of the Master

Date: Thursday, November 25

Time: 8:30 a.m. and 9 a.m. start times

Cost: $22 to $37

The seventh annual Mighty Gobbler 5K and 1-Mile Run/Walk is a great way to start your Thanksgiving morning. It’s the only United States of America Track and Field certified 5K race taking place on Thanksgiving day in Michigan. Both the 5K and 1-mile courses start at the Lutheran Church of the Master, wind through the roads and neighborhoods of downtown Troy, and finish at the famous Tunnel of Turkeys. Proceeds and monetary donations from the event go to the Micah 6 Community and Interfaith Volunteer Caregivers, while canned good donations go to Troy People Concerned.

The 1-mile fun run/walk begins at 8:30 a.m. and the 5K fun run/walk begins at 9 a.m. Register to race in person ahead of time online or in-person on race day, or register online by November 8th to choose the virtual option. You can pick up your race packet at Lutheran Church of the Master on Wednesday, November 24th from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m, or starting at 7:30 a.m. on Thanksgiving day. The race packet includes a long sleeve shirt, race bib, and custom finisher medal.

Well, there you have it, the top five Thanksgiving events and activities in Detroit. Here at Goodman Acker, we know how important it is to spend quality time with friends and family, especially during the holidays. If there’s a Thanksgiving event you think we should add to our list, please let us know. We’d love to talk with you about your favorite local Thanksgiving activities and how we can help with your personal injury case.

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