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The Christmas Parade: A Holiday Tradition

Parades are an American tradition, small town or big city, annual holiday or a local celebration; they act as a free and family-friendly party that everyone can enjoy, and none quite like a Christmas Parade, for nearly every town has one. Not everyone has a St. Patrick’s Day parade, or something for the Fourth of July, but you can always count on an annual winter march of floats and music to grace the city streets.

Christmas is already about getting together with family and friends, and a parade is a way to get an entire community together for a good time. The decorated floats, music, and candy are a perfect encompassing celebration.

The best kind of holiday parade is one covered in Christmas lights, and there are plenty of those in the area. Several nighttime parades take place in the region: Cape Girardeau always has a big turnout for their Parade of Lights, themed every year with a fun Christmas tradition. This time it’s ‘Carols and Candy Canes.’ Poplar Bluff gives out awards for their floats, encouraging Christmas Spirit, lighting, music, and participation. In smaller towns they have just as much fun, Red Bud Illinois starts early stays up late with a combined lighted parade and fun run.

Speaking of small towns, just about every one of them hosts a parade all through December. In Jackson their annual Christmas parade is starting a little later in the evening this year, giving floats a chance to light up for the first time. Their traditional marching bands will still be included, playing Christmas tunes all the way through uptown. In Farmington they love Christmas so much they have two parades. The Krekeler Jewelers Parade is the main one sponsored by the chamber of commerce, and the theme is ‘Christmas Around the World’. A smaller one takes place at Folsom Elementary School, along with a chili dinner and silent auction. Over in Marble Hill they might be shy about their fun, but the annual Christmas parade is always a treat.

Sainte Genevieve goes all out for their Christmas, combining the parade with a weekend-long festival in which the Christmas tree is lighted, and Santa Clause makes an appearance. New Madrid does a Christmas combo as well, this year their parade them is ‘Christmas Movies’, and afterwards their downtown turns into Santa’s Village. Both towns throw in some historic flare with their historic homes hosting Christmas events.

For those who like to get hands-on, organizations are always looking for help, whether its decorating, or just walking along and passing out candy, and for the most part float-entry is free, so there’s plenty of easy fun to be had.

You can’t get too far without running into a Christmas Parade, and with free admission, good times, and holiday cheer, they’re hard to pass up. You can find all of these and more Christmas parades on our Seasonal Calendar.

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