It bewilders me every year that the Christmas parade takes place even before Thanksgiving. But so be it, the Raleigh Christmas Parade is upon us this Saturday, 10 a.m. (If that is too early, WRAL will air it repeatedly until 12/25.)
The parade will be grand marshaled by Emily Minor from Wilmington, NC, now hailing from Nashville TN by way of “American Idol”. (Last year, the grand marshal was Scotty McCreery.) The route stays the same, starting on Hillsborough at St. Mary’s and then head toward the Capitol and zig-zag right onto Fayetteville.
It seems that the Hillsborough street section is always more crowded that the Fayetteville section, so my advice for last week’s parade still applies. (00 block of Fayetteville is the best choice for casual watchers. By the Confederate Memorial is best for hardcore early-risers, because you see the entire parade coming towards you, and it slows down to manage the two turns at the Capitol.)
Like St. Patrick’ Day has moved beyond the Irish, the Christmas parade has long moved long beyond the church-going crowd, and is a must-see event for people of all affiliations and creeds. Sometimes formal and classy, sometimes well, not-so-classy, there is something to be seen and enjoyed for everybody. (All links WRAL coverage of 2011 parade.)
Leave the car, bring the lawn-chair, blankets and hot drinks and settle down for a display of fine entertainment.
Saturday, 11/17, 10 a.m. Hillsborough and Fayetteville streets.
The image is Raleigh Christmas Parade 2008 051 by Anodoin, used under the CC-BY license