CHARLOTTE--It is a Charlotte Thanksgiving tradition that almost didn't happen this year.
The Carolinas' Carrousel Parade has been a tradition since 1947. Financial problems caused the event to be canceled for 2013. But after a last minute sponsorship from Novant Health, the parade is once again set to roll through uptown this Turkey Day.
“The Carrousel obviously has struggled for the last few years, and I think they're gonna see quality of parade this year that's never been quite like this,” said Mike Walker, designer of the Carrousel Parade.
The parade is being produced by Charlotte Center City Partners. With just over two weeks to go, preparations are well underway. Craftsmen, artisans and even some kids are busy in a workshop creating the floats, displays and other attractions that make up the historic event.
“We got the go on Labor Day weekend, and here we are just a few weeks out from Thanksgiving. Still got a lot of work to do, but we're getting there,” said Robert Krumbine, chief creative officer for Charlotte Center City Partners.
Organizers are hoping to make a big impact and say this year's parade will be like none other in the event's nearly 70-year history.
“We really wanted to show a difference in this parade. We wanted to tell people that this is a new day, and it's going to be a new, exciting parade. Everybody's working very, very hard to make it special,” said Krumbine.
And as they prepare for this year's event, organizers say they're already thinking of ways to make future Carrousel Parades even better.
“Within a couple years, this will be one of the biggest parades on Thanksgiving Day or anytime around that season. I feel strongly that's going to happen,” said Walker.
The parade's scholarship program will also continue this year. The Carolinas Carrousel Parade began in 1947.