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In Detroit, a Thanksgiving tradition continues

It’s Thanksgiving Day, and that means it’s time for a parade in downtown Detroit.

As the annual  parade proceeded into the heart of downtown this Thanksgiving, newspaper headlines reminded people that the city stands of the verge of bankruptcy.

But, there are also bright spots. The city's downtown is showing signs of revitalization. And the parade itself is a reminder of many grand traditions in Detroit's history.

The parade is a family tradition for man, including cousins McKenzie Holly and Mariah Bursey.

“We come every year. It's very fun coming every year,” said McKenzie. Added Mariah: “We've been coming down about four, five years. Very fun, but it's so cold.”

This is the 85th year for Detroit's Thanksgiving parade, also known nationally as America's Thanksgiving Day Parade. The parade line-up included a number of marching bands, floats by the city's renowned Parade Company, and, of course, Santa Claus.

Among the participants was Aaron Egan, who actually rode down Woodward on a 12-foot unicycle with the Redford Township Unicycle Club.

 “We do parades throughout the year, all around Metro Detroit,” Egan says. “It’s a great opportunity for us.”

Parade-goers mixed in with Detroit Lions and a few Green Bay Packers fans, who were there to watch the two teams do battle in the Lions annual Thanksgiving Day game at Ford Field.

Sarah Cwiek joined Michigan Radio in October 2009. As our Detroit reporter, she is helping us expand our coverage of the economy, politics, and culture in and around the city of Detroit.