June 12, 2016


The Detroit News, November 27, 1963
I never cared for Sonny Eliot, Bozo the Clown or Thanksgiving Day parades but I like Detroit history so here we are.

With the assassination of JFK still heavy on the minds of Americans, Detroiters took to the streets in record numbers to witness the parade in 1963. Despite parade organizers temporarily losing the large gold key to the city, it was summarily found in the warehouse at 12th and Fort and rushed to the scene, where Mayor Cavanaugh presented it to Santa. Thus, kicking off the 37th J. L. Hudson Santa Parade in balmy 50 degree weather.

Among the attractions were Big Toot and Little Toot, Clown Capers, Twin Pines' Milky the Clown, Captain Jolly and several Bozo the Clowns. I'm not sure if the one who appeared on the WWJ television show which preceded the parade coverage at 10:15 AM was on hand but his cohorts certainly were.

Sonny Eliot emceed the event on Channel 4 that lasted 45 minutes before seguing into "the New York Parade." Which, of course, was code for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. An unspoken name in a town of Hudsonians. As well it should have been and still should be despite the outcome of each store's history.

Following that parade out East was the classic "Miracle on 34th Street." Another holiday tradition that I have always forsook. I love Christmas just not the schmaltz that goes along with it.

Capping off the holiday reverie was Conversation Piece. Which, I'm guessing, is not the Burt Lancaster movie, that I've never heard of until this writing, since it didn't come out until a decade later.


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