November 18, 2017
The festive Asheville Holiday Parade in downtown is a fun way to kick off the Christmas season - complete with local personality for plenty of smiles. It starts at 11 AM, so several downtown streets will be closed that morning. Come early to find you a spot along the one-mile route. All of these photos are from 2016! Above, the Asheville Second Line (don't miss their Mardi Gras Parade on February 11, 2018). For more fun in November and December, see our Top Holiday Season Things to Do.
The parade travels up Biltmore Avenue from Charlotte Street towards Pack Square. Pack Square is the only performance area, the location for WLOS TV cameras and judges. The parade then turns left on Patton Avenue and ends on French Broad Street.
This year's theme is Holiday Magic. Celebrating 70+ years, the parade features 100 entries including marching bands, dance and cheer squads and festive floats.
The 90-minute parade features of entertainment for all ages.
Since it's Asheville, you'll never know what you'll see along the way! Even the Christmas parade needs some weirdness.
LaZoom Tours is always a crowd favorite with their purple bus and variety of characters, led here by Sister Bad Habit.
After the parade, families are invited to Pack Square for photos with Santa from 2-4 PM and start your holiday shopping in downtown Asheville. The Parade will line up along South Charlotte Street which will be closed to traffic beginning at 7 AM.
That evening at 6 PM, watch the lighting of the Winter Lights trees at Pack Square, presented by the North Carolina Arboretum’s Winter Lights.