Add A Parade to Your Holiday Traditions
During the holiday season, my family usually connect over turkey dinner, black Friday deals, the final Christmas rush, and wishful thoughts of snow. But, little did we know, somewhere in America people were enjoying the sound of music and family-fun floats in a parade. Being from Louisiana, we think about these events only during Mardi Gras. Now, we can enjoy one of our favorite pass times during one of the joyous parts of the year. Here are just a few parades that a well known throughout the U.S.
Florida Citrus Parade (Orlando, FL)
To celebrate the holidays and two annual college football bowl games (the Russell Athletic Bowl and the Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl), Orlando, Florida hosts the Florida Citrus Parade. Previously known as the Florida Power Super Holiday Parade, the parade was started in 1980. In 2005, when Delta Air Lines began sponsoring the parade, it was renamed the Orlando Citrus Parade. This event is broadcasted across the U.S. during the New Year’s holiday season. The parade hosts high school and university marching bands, Disney World and Universal theme park characters, and local and national celebrities. Floats are decorated with oranges, tangerines, and grapefruits. Over 600 volunteers gather to create the citrus-based floats during the last week of December.
Hollywood Christmas Parade (Hollywood, CA)
The 85th Annual Hollywood Christmas Parade was held on Sunday, November 27th of this year. Floating down Hollywood and Sunset Blvd, it celebrates the holiday season with music, bands and balloons. This year’s Grand Marshall was Olivia Newton John and celebrity performers boasted the likes of Kenny G, Eric Benet, War, and the Masters of Illusion. Marching bands included local bands like Marine band San Diego and PAVA World Traditional Marching Band, and national bands like Milton High School Marching Band of Georgia and Lafayette Jefferson High School Marching Band of Indiana. Parade balloons of characters such as ‘The Grinch’, ‘Santa Garfield’, and ‘Pac-Man’ gave the younger crowd some added entertainment. Besides balloons, kids also enjoyed the horses that trotted along the route. Groups such as the Valley Center Vaqueros and the Mane Attraction were there to perform and entertain.
Children’s Christmas Parade (Atlanta, GA)
Held on the first Saturday in December, the Children’s Christmas Parade benefits Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Free to the public, it hosts marching bands and helium-filled balloons. It is the largest holiday parade in the Southeast region and is sponsored by some very large corporations, such as Wells Fargo, Macy’s, Geico, and Coca-Cola. A breakfast with Mr. and Mrs. Claus is held before the parade’s start and quickly followed by many mascots and cartoon characters. The SEC Championship football game is held later in the in the day at the Georgia Dome.