Here Comes Santa Claus. Really?

I was looking over the events this week and I noticed quite a few small town parades to welcome Santa. I checked and rechecked the list. I was thinking maybe I was wrong about the dates. I reran the searches again. No, it was right. How can this be? Can it be possible that the Christmas events are starting so early? Can it? Well it turns out that it isn’t really early. I must have lost a few weeks somewhere. (No smart remarks out there like big surprise, lol).

That means that Thanksgiving is about than 10 days away. Yikes!!!! I am so not ready. That also means that the shopping season is just about ready to begin as well. I heard that this year many stores are starting their Black Friday sales 5 days earlier. Does that mean in a week the crazy sales for Black Friday will be underway? Does that make them Black Sunday sales? I will choose not follow that thought any further as I am already confused. (Again, same smart remark reference from before).

I really like holiday traditions like these parades. I remember years of marching in the local Christmas Welcome Santa parades as a child. They are special, fond memories that I hold dear today. I marched in those parades as a girl scout because civic and other groups comprised most of the parade participants.  I grew up in a very small town and it was wonderful to see almost the whole town come out on these occasions.

This week I am inviting you to start your Christmas season off not with shopping, but with some pre-Thanksgiving parades. They aren’t early. In fact they are right on time. If you can start a tradition this holiday of visiting a parade near you before Thanksgiving and set the tone for fond memories of your own; ones that do not begin and end with trying to find parking spaces at a mall. So grab the kids, grandma and maybe even the family dog who can sometimes attend public parades, and get out there and welcome both Santa and the season. If there are no parades on this list in your backyard, please use the search box and find some terrific welcome Santa events near you.

Christmas Parade

Nov 17, 2012

Panther Creek Park Owensboro, KY US 42301

Since 1936. Join the crowds in downtown Owensboro for the Christmas Parade. The theme is “75 Years of Christmas Cheer – A Diamond Celebration”. Come out and help Owensboro celebrate one of their favorite traditions! The town comes to life for the holiday and welcomes Santa and the official start of the holiday season.
25,000 Attendees

Harrisburg Holiday Parade

Nov 17, 2012

City Island Harrisburg, PA US 17101

Central Pennsylvania’s largest holiday salute, including, marching bands, helium balloons and floats are just some of the great fun going on during the parade.
50,000 Attendees

Holidays in the City Grand Illumination Parade

Nov 17, 2012

Downtown Norfolk, VA US 23501

Since 1985. This festival lighted evening parade. Enjoy the balloons, equestrian units and the different floats. The lights, sights and sounds of the Holidays in the City season provide unforgettable activities for the whole family to enjoy. Bursting on the holiday scene will be the Grand Illumination Parade and from that night on until New Year’s Eve, the lighted skylines provide a magical backdrop for a calendar filled with holiday traditions – some generations old and some new on the scene.
100,000 Attendees

Mother Goose Parade

Nov 18, 2012

Main Street and Chambers El Cajon, CA US 92020

Since 1947, one of the largest parades West of the Mississippi. The parade is a signature of the City of El Cajon and San Diego County and has always been a guaranteed delight for the children of all ages who love a parade. Well over 100 colorful and exciting parade entries come from a variety of cities throughout the United States to share in the excitement that is part of the Mother Goose Parade. Each year we are proud to present a line-up of spectacular motorized floats, glorious marching bands and drill units, eloquent equestrians, animated clowns, special characters, special guests, performing artists, celebrities, giant helium balloons, specialty vehicles, and of course, Santa Claus. Every parade entry is specially selected to bring enjoyment to children and adults alike. The parade is 3 miles long and is also covered by radio and television.
250,000 Attendees

Toledo Holiday Parade

Nov 17, 2012

Downtown Toledo, OH US 43604

Since 1988, parade with colorful floats and giant helium balloons, prancing equestrian units, dancing high school marching bands and many other units. Starts on Monroe Street and Summit to Jackson, left to Herron and back to Monroe Street.
70,000 Attendees

Stamford Parade Spectacular

Nov 18, 2012

Downtown Stamford, CT US 06901

Sensational giant two-hour balloon parade featuring over 25 giant helium-filled character balloons, over 60 marching bands, units and floats, Santa and more. Stop by on Saturday (3pm to 6pm) for the balloon inflation party.
150,000+ Attendees

Magnificent Mile Lights Festival and Parade

Nov 17, 2012

Michigan Avenue Chicago, IL US 60611

Since 1992. Dubbed the nation’s largest evening holiday event, the Magnificent Mile Lights Festival will feature a full day of festivities including family-friendly activities in Lights Festival Lane, live entertainment from top artists in Pioneer Court on the BMO Harris Bank Stage and tons of holiday shopping throughout the district. The highly anticipated lighting procession, steps onto the Avenue at 5:30pm and features a host of Disney friends, more than 30 floats, giant balloons, exciting marching bands, celebrities, musical performers and, of course, Santa. More than one million lights on 200 trees along The Magnificent Mile will be illuminated this magical evening. The procession culminates with a spectacular fireworks display along the Chicago River.
100,000 Attendees

Holiday Parade

Nov 17, 2012

Downtown Tomball Tomball, TX US 77377

Since 1965, decorated floats, high school marching bands, clowns, antique cars, Miss Tomball Contestants, lots of fun, great food and much, much more.
35,000 Attendees

Asheville Holiday Parade

Nov 17, 2012

Downtown Asheville Asheville, NC US 28801

Thousands of families line the streets of downtown Asheville the Saturday before Thanksgiving to enjoy the Christmas parade. Participants include marching bands, civic groups with self-built floats, merchants with professional floats, street performers, animals, pageant queens, and, of course, Santa Claus. Vendors selling souvenirs. Santa, dancers and llamas in Pack Square Park immediately following the parade. Initiate the winter season by being part of Asheville’s oldest and largest holiday event!
50,000 Attendees

Gazette Holiday Parade

Nov 17, 2012

Downtown Schenectady, NY US 12305

A nighttime parade that rings in the holiday season in style. Dancers, bands, extravagant floats, a visit from old Saint Nick and a fireworks finale.
40,000 Attendees

Maria can be reached directly at or visit her website at
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