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Ford Celebrates Detroit, Volunteers with New Thanksgiving Parade Float

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Michigan Central leads the way on the Ford America's Thanksgiving Parade
Ford’s new Thanksgiving parade float is 100 feet long
Photo: Ford

Thanksgiving is just about here whether you want it to be or not. Of all the rolling inevitabilities wrapped up in the holiday — from your grandma’s world-famous garlic mashed potatoes to your uncle Charlie’s ridiculous political takes — Thanksgiving parades are among the most steadfast. At the 96th America’s Thanksgiving Parade on Thursday, Ford is taking part with a massive new float that pays tribute to the Motor City.

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New float spotlights Michigan Central, FRECs

Ford’s Thanksgiving parade float is titled “Powering the Community,” and it clocks in at a whopping 100 feet long. It’s divided into three sections, the first of which depicts Michigan Central, the former train station and soon-to-be centerpiece of Ford’s massive Detroit campus.

Ford's Thanksgiving parade float depicts volunteers carrying boxes of food
The float shows volunteers carrying food boxes to Detroit communities
Photo: Ford

The middle float shows how Ford is planning to use the space on and around the campus. Part of the project involves reinvesting in and revitalizing the Corktown and Southwest neighborhoods.

The third section of Ford's 2022 float in America's Thanksgiving Parade
A Ford F-150 Lighting powers the Ford Community Center
Photo: Ford

Perhaps the piece de resistance is the third section, which brings attention to the outreach efforts of the Ford Resource and Engagement Centers in Detroit. A recreation of a Ford F-150 Lightning, which also has boxes of food flowing forth from its Mega Power Frunk, powers the Ford Community Center on the float.

A recreation of the Ford F-150 Lightning powers a Ford Resource and Engagement Center on Ford's Thanksgiving parade float
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Photo: Ford

The new Ford float was designed and built by artists from The Parade Company, the Michigan not-for-profit behind America’s Thanksgiving Parade. A group of Ford Fund volunteers and Ford College graduates helped put the finishing touches on the float last week ahead of the big dance.

“It feels really good to be a part of this,” said Ford College graduate Thomas Lincoln. “The way Ford emphasized volunteering was something that I didn’t see in a lot of the other companies I was looking at coming out of college. Volunteering is a familiar thing to me and it’s something that I enjoy.”

Ford’s float marks its first new display at America’s Thanksgiving Parade in three years. Ford has been the official vehicle of the parade since 2011.