HBCU grad tapped as honorary grand marshal for Thanksgiving Day parade

Novant Health’s Tanya Blackmon will serve as the honorary grand marshal in the 71st annual Novant Health Thanksgiving Day Parade on Nov. 22.

Novant Health's Tanya Blackmon will serve as the honorary grand marshal in the 71st annual Novant Health Thanksgiving Day Parade. (Photo: Qcitymetro)

More than 100,000 people will line the streets of Uptown Charlotte for Thursday’s 71st annual Novant Health Thanksgiving Day Parade, and North Carolina A&T University graduate Tanya Blackmon will be the local leader of the procession as honorary grand marshal.

“I felt honored to be asked,” said Novant Health’s executive vice president and chief diversity and inclusion officer. “I’m very community-oriented, so it’s exciting to be able to participate in this important community event.”

The Delta Sigma Theta Sorority member said she’s attended the parade a few times but usually watches on TV so she can enjoy it with her 83-year-old father. It’s a special part of her Thanksgiving tradition.

“For my family, Thanksgiving is all about cooking, spending time together and expressing gratitude for one another,” Blackmon said.

North Carolina Secretary of Labor Cherie Berry will serve as the grand marshal. The parade begins on Thursday, Nov. 22, at 9 a.m. The route travels approximately one mile, from Ninth to Stonewall streets.

Street closures for the parade include:

  • Tuesday, Nov. 20 at 10 a.m.
    • South Tryon Street from Levine Avenue of the Arts to Stonewall Street
  • Wednesday, Nov. 21 at 10 a.m.
    • South Tryon Street from Levine Avenue of the Arts to MLK Boulevard
  • Wednesday, Nov. 21 at 6 p.m.
    • North Tryon Street from Ninth Street to 11th Street
    • Tenth Street from Church Street to Tryon Street
    • Phifer Avenue from College Street to Tryon Street
  • Thursday, Nov. 22 at 7 a.m.
    • Ninth Street from College Street to Church Street
    • Eleventh Street from College Street to Church Street
    • Hill Street from College Street to Tryon Street
    • Tryon Street from Morehead Street to 10th Street, including all cross streets in between

All streets will be open by 8 p.m. on Thursday. Visit the parade website for more information.

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