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thanks1Talented eighth grade student Ayress Goss of Ludington Magnet Middle School in Detroit artistic creation was brought to life for the first time at The Parade Company when she was announced as the 24th Annual Skillman Foundation Float Design Contest winner.

Goss’s drawing entitled “Family Time” was transformed into a magical float, which features a giant tree with an oversized slide spiraling down its trunk into a pile of colorful autumn leaves. The float features an 80-foot wrap which incorporates the 2015 Honorable Mention winning designs along with other entry favorites. Goss will be joined by her family as she accompanies her float along the parade route during the 89th annual America’s Thanksgiving Parade® presented by Art Van.

The artists, their families, teachers and principals attended the unveiling. Five honorable mention winners were selected and invited to see their drawings on display. The students include: Charles Hickman Jr. (8th grade student, Bates Academy) for his work “Detroit Film City School,” Micah Sanders (6th grade student, Henry Ford Academy School for Creative Studies) for her work “The Park,” Jalvan McGowan (6th grade student, Henry Ford Academy for Creative Studies) for his work “The Zoo,” Summer Loren (8th grade student, Mackenzie Elementary-Middle School) for her work “Roselawn Public Library” and Reanna Patton (7th grade student, Bates Academy) for her work “Year Round Ice Rink.” Representatives from The Parade Company and the Skillman Foundation joined the students for this special occasion.


“I can’t think of a better way to display the artistic talent of Detroit students than to bring their vision to life in America’s Thanksgiving Parade,” said Tonya Allen, president & CEO of the Skillman Foundation. “Having a student-inspired float appear in the parade for the nation to see is a tremendous way to highlight our young talent.”

“The Skillman Foundation Float Design Contest is an opportunity for students to feature their art in a walking exhibit on Thanksgiving morning,” said Tony Michaels, president & CEO, The Parade Company. “We are incredibly grateful for our partnership with the Skillman Foundation, which has given so many the joy of seeing the students’ reactions when they watch their floats come to life.”

You can see the winning float live during the Thanksgiving Day parade on Thursday, November 26, 2015 as the Parade steps off at 8:50 a.m. at Kirby and Woodward or view it live on TV at 10 a.m. on WDIV-TV, Local 4.

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