In Detroit, mention the words Thanksgiving DayParade to someone and you will be met with stories and memories. Ben Sharkey and I are no exception.
Since I can remember, my family and I would wake up early each Thanksgiving morning and head downtown to reserve our spot in front of the FOX theatre. No matter the weather, we would gear up and head down.
As kids, my best friend Justin and I would use the parade as an excuse to roam around and explore downtown Detroit. We loved the excitement, live music, and especially the larger than life floats that move down Woodward Ave.
It was because of this time spent exploring that I really fell in love with downtown Detroit. I knew that this is where I wanted to be.
For Ben, waking up at his house in Ann Arbor and traveling to Lapeer to watch the parade at his grandmother’s has always been a Thanksgiving tradition. “It’s very nostalgic for me,” Ben told me. He can’t wait to see her reaction when he tells her he’s going to be in it.
This year, the parade will still be a part of both of our Thanksgiving celebrations, but instead of watching it on TV or from the sidewalk, we will be in the middle of Woodward Ave performing a barbershop quartet style holiday jazz set.
Ben and I will be performing a cover of Louis Armstrong’s holiday classic Zat You, Santa Claus? We have also brought on Detroit Percussionist Rick Beamon to add some extra flavor to the song.
See you on Woodward!
LIVE - 11/27/2014 on WDIV Local 4 at 9:23am