Joining the parade

The 120-foot Delta Dental Smile Safari float, complete with a massive mother “molar bear” reading to her cubs, a “molar express” train and many toothy animals, made its debut in America’s Thanksgiving Parade in Detroit in 2018.

The float carried the messages “Brush for a Healthy Smile” and “Read for a Healthy Mind” to an estimated 1 million spectators lining the parade route and another 65 million watching it on 185 television stations across the country.

The parade, named America’s best by USA Today in 2018, is one of Detroit’s premier annual events drawing corporate, philanthropic and nonprofit partners to the city for a free holiday celebration.

The atmosphere was electric with excitement and energy, and I had the best time being a tiger and walking next to the spectacular Delta Dental float.

—Nikki Call, Delta Dental employee

More than a dozen employees braved the cold temperatures, dressed in festive safari animal costumes, and escorted the float along the three-mile route from midtown to downtown Detroit.

“The atmosphere was electric with excitement and energy, and I had the best time being a tiger and walking next to the spectacular Delta Dental float,” says Nikki Call, customer service training specialist. “I was high-fiving, hugging, skipping, smiling, dancing and hand-shaking the entire time, and I had an absolute blast!”

Delta Dental’s $125,000 sponsorship of the parade aligns with our commitment to build vibrant communities.