On November 19, thousands of people came out to watch the 72nd annual WRAL Raleigh Christmas Parade. This event took place in downtown Raleigh starting at 9:40 am. It is usually considered the kickoff to the holiday season coming just a week before Thanksgiving.
Many families enjoyed watching the parade from up close and also on television. The parade was broadcasted on WRAL-TV and UNC-TV from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm. This is the 43rd consecutive year that the parade was displayed live by WRAL-TV.
One of the questions that students always have about the parade is which streets will be blocked due to the parade route. The parade route was approximately 1.4 miles long and it made its way through downtown Raleigh. This year, streets such as Hillsborough, St Mary’s, Morgan, Salisbury, Fayetteville and Lenoir were all shut down for the parade. Drivers needed to plan on taking more time to get where they were going because they had to take an alternate route.
Although the parade may have brought some extra trouble for some, many people experienced joy with their families by watching the festive floats and giant balloons roll by.
“I think the parade is a great time to spend with your family and have a good time,” sophomore Evan Parsons said.
The Raleigh Christmas Parade is put on by the Greater Raleigh Merchants Association. This is a group focused on everything that goes on in the local greater Raleigh area. They look at business development, market trends and local government. The Christmas Parade is their biggest program, affecting roughly 250,000 people annually, but they also have other programs such as Raleigh Crime Stoppers. This was founded in 1987 and it helps people in the community work together to solve crimes.
The event is one of the biggest parades on the East coast each year.