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New Ford Thanksgiving Day Parade float highlights company’s history of mobility


You’ll get a history lesson in automotive mobility at this year’s America’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. All you have to do is watch for the Ford Motor Company float.

As the new float, “Mobility One,” passes by you’ll get a timeline view of the company’s history of innovation to the digital age and its plans for the future with Smart Mobility and autonomous vehicles.

Remember, Ford was founded in 1903 so the float has to represent 113 years of history. It’s more than 90 feet long and comes in three separate sections.

The first piece features a replica of the historic Model T that includes a working crank along with a larger-than-life Henry Ford.



The second piece features students tinkering away with technology of the future.



The third piece imagines “what’s to come” featuring a 20-foot-long autonomous flying car jetting off over the globe with wheels that fold out in preparation for take-off.



Allison Schmitt, eight-time Olympic medalist in swimming and Michigan native, will be riding on the Ford float, which was designed in partnership with Ford and built by The Parade Company.

Along with the float more than 40 Ford F-Series trucks, Mustangs and Explorers will move down the parade route. In addition, dozens of members of the Ford Volunteer Corps. will walk alongside the float.

Jim Vella, president, Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services, and Tony Michaels, president and CEO of The Parade Company, unveiled the float during the 17th Annual Parade VIP Pancake Breakfast attended by Governor Rick Snyder, Mayor Mike Duggan and hundreds of Detroit business and community leaders.

Tony Michaels and Jim Vella

L-R: Jim Vella, president, Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services, and Tony Michaels, president & CEO of The Parade Company.

“Ford will always be a leader in supporting events like America’s Thanksgiving Parade that bring our region together,” Vella says. “We’re proud to announce a renewed commitment to not only continue supporting the great tradition of America’s Thanksgiving Parade, but also the annual Ford Fireworks.”

The Ford Fund has invested $20 million in local educational and community programs this year and has a new three-year commitment with The Parade Company to sponsor America’s Thanksgiving Parade presented by Art Van and the Ford Fireworks, which are produced by The Parade Company.

“We are incredibly appreciative of Ford Motor Company’s support and their new float is a symbol of their dedication to our community,” said Michaels. “Ford is a remarkable partner to The Parade Company and their continued commitment to America’s Thanksgiving Parade presented by Art Van and the Ford Fireworks helps to make these world-class events possible.”

The theme of this year’s parade is “90 Years Together.” It will be featured on WDIV-TV Local 4, including a one-hour national broadcast. News/Talk 760 WJR’s Paul W. Smith will host a Prelude to the Parade and the live play-by-play of the Parade will be on WOMC – 104.3 with Bobby Mitchell & Stacey DuFord.

America’s Thanksgiving Parade presented by Art Van will be held on Thursday, November 24. For more information, visit

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