Lakeland Christmas Parade Kicks Off Holiday Events: No Chairs Until The Day Of The Event - City News Blog
LAKELAND, FL (November 4, 2022) | The Lakeland Christmas Parade is a time-honored tradition, enjoyed by the community for generations. This year, the parade takes place on Thursday, December 1st. The parade starts with a firework display over Lake Mirror at 7 p.m. As the first firework is launched, the parade officially begins. Leaving the RP Funding Center, the parade travels down Lemon Street toward downtown. The parade then turns at Main Street to Cedar Street and winds around Lake Mirror, going up Orange Street and ending at the RP Funding Center.
This year’s parade has over 90 participants, including floats, marching bands and decorated trailers. The parade ends with everyone’s favorite, Mr. and Mrs. Clause. The theme for this year is Christmas Past, Present & Future with each float incorporating the theme into their design. Recognized as one of Lakeland’s largest annual events, participants step off from the RP Funding Center to begin the 1.25-mile parade route that travels downtown and back.
Each year, parade participants compete to win special recognition in eight categories:
- Most outstanding band
- Most original float
- Best professional float
- Best youth or educational float
- Best community float
- Best business float
- Best theme float
- Judge’s choice
The City asks that no chairs be placed on the parade route until the day of the parade. Each year, many of those attending the parade start staking their claim earlier and earlier. Fire Chief Doug Riley says, “We understand people want a good vantage point to watch the parade. Unfortunately, we have chairs blocking sidewalks and crosswalks days before the parade.” Police Chief Reuben Garcia adds, “This causes a major hazard, especially for those in our community that use wheelchairs and walkers to get around.”
The City will remove/relocate chairs that are totally blocking sidewalks, in the way of crosswalks and hindering the use of disabled parking spaces. We understand the excitement of this yearly event, but we also want to keep in mind the safety of all our citizens. Riley and Garcia say, “Please, no chairs on the parade route before Thursday, December 1st.” Chairs, tape, blankets, and other materials used to save viewing spaces will be removed if placed in public right-of-way before the day of the parade.
Residents unable to make the parade in person are encouraged to watch live on Spectrum Channel 643, and FiOS Channel 43. The broadcast will also be streamed on www.lakelandgov.net and be available as video on demand. This busy time of year begins on the first week of December with the Lakeland Christmas Parade on December 1st, First Friday on December 2nd, and Snowfest on December 3rd. Santa’s Calling will take place on December 6th, and the Holly Jog Jingle Bell Jog and Selfies with Santa on December 10th. The City of Lakeland wishes everyone a Merry Christmas and a very joyous holiday season. For more information on the City of Lakeland’s holiday events, please visit www.lakelandgov.net/holidayevents.
The City of Lakeland was incorporated January 1885 and has grown to become one of the largest inland communities in Florida. With a current population of over 100,000 Lakeland continues to grow. It has been designated a Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area by the US Census Bureau for over 30 years. With tourist attractions and gulf beaches only an hour away, Lakeland continues to capitalize on its ideal central Florida location along the I-4 corridor. The City owns and operates Lakeland Electric, the third largest publicly owned utility in Florida and it was one of the first to offer power in the Sunshine State over 115 years ago.
For additional information about the City of Lakeland, please visit www.lakelandgov.net. Citizens are also invited to follow the City on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Vimeo, Snapchat and Nextdoor. Citizens can find the City of Lakeland on these social media platforms by searching lakelandgov.
For additional information about the City of Lakeland, please explore LakelandGov.net.
Citizens are also invited to follow the City on social media.