Broughton students in the 2020 Raleigh Christmas Parade

 Although the Holidays are a little different this year, the beloved Raleigh Christmas Parade continued to push creative, fun content and holiday spirit for all the ages. The protocols and Stages in North Carolina may have not allowed an in person parade but the light of the celebration could not be dimmed. 

   So many new and fun performances created a perfect atmosphere to sit on the couch, bake some cookies, and appreciate North Carolina along with its many talented people and traditions. Performances by the Raleigh Ringers, that performed their rendition of Carol of the Bells that were the rings heard round the triangle. The dancers of CC&CO performed a tap number with the very talented Miss North Carolina.

   To these dancers and many performers in the parade, even meeting up in person to film these segments of the parade, it created a sense of normalcy and way to get back into the art forms that they love most. The arts during this time are benign underfunded and unappreciated, but the Raleigh Christmas Parade is a huge support to all the arts communities and helps support and celebrate these wonderful works for people to enjoy from home this year. 

   So many wonderful performances occurred but a shining entertainment was our own Broughton Band and Dance team, performing “God rest ye merry gentlemen.” 

   “While it was definitely challenging to learn the dance for the Raleigh Christmas Parade virtually, it was amazing to dance with my teammates in person for the first time while filming! I’ve participated in the Raleigh Christmas Parade for three years now, and while this year was different, it still was an awesome experience and I hope it brought joy to the viewers,” said senior Lilly Gornto. Learning a dance, song, or piece of music for a band, virtually has taught everyone so many lessons. Being able to be a part of a tradition such as The Raleigh Christmas Parade is a blessing no matter what way it is being celebrated.

   “This year is certainly the year of new,” Ms. Graves, the Dance Director of Broughton states.

   “While we never imagined participating in a virtual Christmas parade, wearing holiday sweaters in October for filming, learning to mix music and sitting on the couch to watch the parade it was a special experience,” added Graves. This year is full of challenging new situations never thought to happen, the Raleigh Christmas Parade celebrates these challenges.   

   Without being able to have the streets filled with cheering families like past years, the new stations incorporated the use of a live background zoom audience to wave, answer questions and spread holiday cheer. This created a positive atmosphere even just through the screens. The schedule of the Parade also included montages from past Christmas parade celebrations and interviews with people on the streets to provoke nostalgia in the watchers. It presents a hope that we will get back to screaming Christmas songs, watching the dancers wave as they pass by, and getting fake snow blown to make it feel like its a white Christmas when in reality it’s 60 degrees. That is the true North Carolina Christmas celebration.