Novant Health Carolinas’ Carrousel Parade Thanksgiving Charlotte - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Company steps in to save Thanksgiving Day parade in Charlotte

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

Weeks after parade organizers announced it would have to temporarily end one of the nations's best Thanksgiving Day parades due to lack of funding, a company has stepped in to save the parade.

Novant Health announced that it signed on as the title sponsor of Charlotte's Thanksgiving Day parade for the next three years.

"Just as the Thanksgiving Day parade is a Charlotte tradition, Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center has been improving the health of Charlotte for over 100 years," said Jesse Cureton, Executive Vice President and Chief Consumer Officer for Novant Health.  "Novant Health is committed to the health of this community and part of a healthy community is ensuring community traditions continue for future generations." 

The parade has been a Charlotte-tradition for 66 years. Carolinas' Carrousel, Inc. has produced the annual Carrousel Parade since 1947.

It has been recognized as among the top Thanksgiving Parades consistently since 2008 and in 2012 the parade was included on US News & World Report's list of America's Best Thanksgiving Day Parades.

Organizers announced that the parade was in danger back in March after the long-standing title sponsorship contract with Charlotte-based retailer Belk expired after the 2012 parade. 

After a title sponsor was not found, the organizers officially canceled the parade earlier this month.

But now Novant Health says it will sponsor the parade's for at least three years, guaranteeing this time-honored tradition in Charlotte will continue, including this November.

"The Carrousel Board is very happy the Thanksgiving Day Parade will be continuing in 2013 and beyond," said Jeff Collins, President of the Board of Carolinas Carrousel, Inc.  "We are  looking forward to working alongside Center City Partners to keep the spirit of parade and scholarship alive in Charlotte.  We would also like to thank our new sponsors and existing sponsors for their support of the parade."  

The organization says thanks to the support of Novant Health, the new presenting sponsor Titan and other existing sponsors, both the parade and Carrousel Scholarship Program will go on.

The scholarship program has granted college scholarships to hundreds of outstanding high school seniors since 1967.

"The Carrousel Thanksgiving parade and scholarship program are treasured Charlotte traditions and I'm thrilled they will continue," said Charlotte Mayor Patsy Kinsey.  "Thanks to all the members of our community who came together to make it possible." 

The parade will now be produced by Charlotte Center City Partners. CCCP's Chief Creative Officer, Robert Krumbine will be Executive Producer. 

"We are proud to join the team that is rescuing this beloved community event, said Michael Smith, President and CEO of Charlotte Center City Partners. "We look forward to bringing the creativity and expertise of our team to build on this rich Charlotte tradition."

There are many ways for those who are interested in participating in this year's parade to get more information. There is a meeting for anyone interested in participating or volunteering on Wednesday, September 18, location to be determined, at 2:30pm. Potential participants, volunteers or sponsors can also contact Robert Krumbine at rkrumbine@charlottecentercity.org or (704) 332-2227.

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