DTE Foundation debuts ‘Serving With Energy’ float for Thanksgiving Day parade

The DTE Foundation’s “Serving With Energy” float will be the latest to make its debut in the 93rdAmerica’s Thanksgiving Parade presented by Art Van in downtown Detroit November 28. The float highlights DTE Foundation’s commitment to the community, the environment, and the importance of renewable energy.

“DTE Energy’s sole purpose of partnering with a fantastic partner like the Parade Company was to lift up community,” said Nancy Moody, Chair of the DTE Foundation. “The parade is a tremendous economic shot in the arm to the community every year and we wanted to be a part of it.”

The float was built by The Parade Company and features more than 30 sculpted LED lightbulbs, painted with special iridescent paint to give the bulbs a special glow. The largest bulb is 25 feet high and nine feet wide and if it was an actual bulb, it would be an estimated 1,260 watts and emit 161,280 lumens. Other features include spinning wind turbines and an LED lightbulb band rocking out in Beacon Park. During the parade, costumed marchers accompanying the float will be dressed as bees and flowers.

“The float is exciting and portrays the ‘Light, Energy, and Motion’ theme,” said Tony Michaels, president and CEO of The Parade Company. “It also gives a big nod to DTE Energy’s embracing of a cleaner, greener tomorrow. When parade goers see the float on Thanksgiving morning, they will see a lot of renewable energy, Beacon Park, and a lot of electricity.”

The float features more than 30 sculpted LED lightbulbs, painted with special iridescent paint to give the bulbs a special glow. PHOTO: DTE Foundation

As part of its “Empower Michigan” campaign, the DTE Energy Foundation launched a contest in February for Michigan students to submit design concepts for floats in America’s Thanksgiving Parade. Carter McCalister, an 8th grader from Jefferson Middle School in Monroe, was chosen as the winner.

The Thanksgiving parade theme for the DTE Foundation was “Light-Energy-Motion.” It asked students to include those three themes — and how they are incorporated throughout the community — within their designs.

McCalister’s winning design featured wind turbines and solar panels as part of a home’s landscape. A nod to Thanksgiving time, the layout also includes elements of the fall season.

“I tried to stay around the theme of ‘go green,’ showing all energy types coming together,” said McCalister. “I didn’t think I’d actually win, so I’m very excited.”

The DTE Foundation’s “Serving With Energy” float’s theme isLight, Energy, and Motion.’ PHOTO: DTE Foundation

The 93rd America’s Thanksgiving Parade presented by Art Van will kick off from the corner of Kirby and Woodward at 8:45 a.m. on Thanksgiving morning, with the live broadcast on WDIV Local 4 at 10 a.m. The parade was voted as America’s No.1 Holiday Parade by the 2018 USA TODAY 10 Best Readers’ Choice Awards and recognized as one of the best Thanksgiving parades in the country by U.S. News & World Report Travel.

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