It’s that time of year; the store windows are decorated, holiday music is starting to play, the first intersection of angels is hung across College Avenue and you know what means. It is time for the Downtown Appleton Christmas Parade. This annual event has been proudly hosted downtown on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving for the last 47 years and boasts being recognized as the largest nighttime Christmas Parade in the Midwest. Join us on Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2017, for this holiday tradition highlighting "Our Wish for the Season: Peace, Joy & Harmony."
That afternoon you’ll notice individuals saving a blanketed space becoming friends with a “neighbor” who is doing the same. You’ll also see families waiting for the festivities to start playing games, talking and laughing. This sense of community intensifies as the start time nears, the crowd fills in and the pre-parade activities begin.
The Santa Scamper with 1500 individuals, friends and families many of whom are wearing costumes, running down the Parade route to raise funds for St. Joseph’s Food Pantry a half hour before the Parade is a memorable sight. Immediately following the Santa Scamper, watch for Thrivent Cans Hunger. Thrivent staff and supporters push carts down the street to collect donations of canned foods for those in need in our community from all those in attendance.
And then the moment you are waiting for, the 47th Annual Downtown Christmas Parade featuring wonderful floats and twenty marching bands steps off from State Street and proceeds down College Avenue at 7pm. The oohs and aahs of the crowd is reminiscent of the noises you’ll hear at a fireworks display. Of course, when Santa and Mrs. Claus arrive in the last float, your heart will warm and you’ll know the season has begun!
If you absolutely can’t be there in person, (or if you want to save it) WFRV will broadcast the parade live on Tuesday, November 21st, 7:00-8:30pm, and then rebroadcast on Saturday, November 25th, 11:00am-12:30pm and Monday, December 25th, 5:00am-6:30am.