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'It's beautiful': Excitement returns to downtown Detroit for Thanksgiving Day

Posted at 8:29 AM, Nov 25, 2021

DETROIT (WXYZ) — You can see the excitement on the faces of people happy to be back downtown for the holidays.

The Niemiec’s are in town from Grand Rapids.

“Our first Lions game on Thanksgiving Day,” Bob Niemiec said.

For some people, this is their first time celebrating Thanksgiving in the Motor City.

Felipe Guerrero relocated from the West Coast.

“I feel like there is not a lot of spirit over in California. We got to step it up. It’s beautiful, the lights here,” Guerrero said.

The colorful lights are shinning on the city and the people.

“It’s a big change from last year. Everything was shut down last year, people seem to seem a bit more loose nowadays and happy, which is nice to see,” Guerrero said.

Marvin Boless and his family are from Utica.

“It’s amazing. They do a good job with the ice rink. We just checked out Cadillac Village, a lot of cool shops,” Boeless said.

Shops downtown like Dose of Detroit are looking forward to new business that this years’ parade will bring since COVID-19 canceled the festivities last year.

“We are hoping that they at least get to see that we are here, that there are some new businesses downtown where you can come and shop for whoever you need to for the holiday season,” said Tee Capel, the owner and creative director of Dose of Detroit on Woodward Avenue.

Next door at House of Pure Vin, they are getting their outdoor seating and igloos ready to serve up some wine by the glass during the parade.

“This is like a comeback party,” owner Regina Gaines said.

It’s also a chance for businesses to switch up their business model and see what works.

“Having her customers be able to enjoy this right here, which will be a permanent structure later on, but this is a good test run to see how it will work,” said Charles Harrison IV, a creative director who works downtown.

Gaines says, “this is our way of giving attention to those who need to feel a little bit more free and hopefully supports where we are at right now.”

Right now, businesses say they’re just thankful to still have their doors open after a tough year. Woodward Avenue will be completely closed from West Grand Boulevard to Larned Street from 5 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day.

For more road closures and where to park on Thanksgiving, we have a list here.