The annual Raleigh Christmas Parade took over the streets downtown last Saturday. In the past I found it a little strange that the parade takes place in mid-November and before Thanksgiving, but the tradition has started to grow on me. The weather is a little nicer in November, and with the crush of holiday related responsibilities and travel that kick off after Turkey Day, it is no wonder some feel the need to get a head start on Christmas!
The crowd of spectators was the biggest I’ve seen it in years. Somwhere between 50,000 to 60,000 people crowded along Hillsborough and Fayetteville street to take in the festivities. There were plenty of great local High School Bands marching in the parade and filling the streets with Christmas Music along with floats from the local news stations and businesses. Mayor Meeker and Govenor Perdue made appearances as well!
Of course that giant motorized shopping cart from the NC Department of Agriculture was in the parade too. It seems to show up everywhere! I wonder what you need to do to get a ride in that thing?
My favorite spot to perch for the parade is on the grounds around the Capital Building. That way you can get a great view of the bands and flots working thier way down Hillsborough Street and making the tunr onto Salisbury. It also seems to be a popular spot fo people with pets and strollers since you have more room to spread out and let the kids run around and bun off their nervous energy while they eagerly await the start of the parade. You can view the rest of my photos froms 2010 Raleigh Christmas parade in my flickr photo album.