Calvin Johnson Jr. and Bishop Edgar Vann Named Grand Marshals for America’s Thanksgiving Parade

Calvin Johnson Jr. // Bishop Edgar Vann headshots
Calvin Johnson Jr., Bishop Edgar Vann // Courtesy of The Parade Co.

The Parade Co. in Detroit today announced that NFL Hall of Famer and Detroit Lions great Calvin Johnson Jr. and Detroit Bishop Edgar Vann will serve as grand marshals for the America’s Thanksgiving Day Parade presented by Gardner-White.

“We are thrilled to welcome Calvin Johnson and Bishop Vann as this year’s grand marshals for America’s Thanksgiving Parade presented by Gardner-White,” says Tony Michaels, president and CEO of The Parade Co.

“Both are beloved figures in Detroit who have worked tirelessly to elevate our city and serve our community. It will be exciting to celebrate with them on Woodward Avenue on Thanksgiving morning.”

Johnson Jr., known to fans as “Megatron,” was a two-time All-American wide receiver at Georgia Tech and was drafted second overall in the 2007 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions, where he spent his entire career. He holds the record for single season receiving yards, posting 1,964 yards in 2012. He finished his career with 731 receptions for 11,619 yards and 84 touchdowns as is considered one of the best wide receivers of all time.

Vann is a major contributor to the greater good of the city of Detroit and communities around the world by inspiring personal growth and transformational change to both secular and faith-based audiences. Vann serves in business and civic arenas and faith-based and motivational platforms.

Additionally, The Parade Co. announced it will honor longtime WDIV vice president and general manager Marla Drutz as 2021 honorary grand marshal. Under her leadership since 2008, WDIV has been strong on-air and online, earning the title of top-rated and most-watched newscast in its market.

Themed “Love on Woodward,” the 2021 parade will be feature on WDIV Local 4, including a one-hour syndicated national broadcast that reaches more than 185 television markets across the country. WJR News/Talk 760’s Paul W. Smith and Audacy WOMC 104.3 will also broadcast the parade shows.

America’s Thanksgiving Parade presented by Gardner-White is celebrating its 95th year. The event is produced by The Parade Co. For more information, visit

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