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When is the parade?

The parade traditionally takes place on the first Saturday of December and is followed by the Tree Lighting. The 2023 parade will be on Saturday, December 2, 2023 at 4pm.

How long does the parade last?

The parade typically lasts 60-75 minutes, depending on the number of entries.

How do I find out parade information?

This website contains general information. Email recipients are the first to learn when registration opens and to receive other updates.

Will the parade be cancelled or postponed if it rains or snows?

The parade takes place as planned, rain, shine or snow. When attending the parade, be aware of weather forecasts and dress appropriately.

What is the parade route?

The parade begins at Poplar & 4th Street, continues down 4th, turns right down Liberty and ends at Corpening Plaza.

More information coming about the Annual Tree Lighting sponsored by the City of Winston-Salem at Corpening Plaza.

Who can be in the parade?

The parade is a celebration of Winston-Salem community groups and businesses, so anyone can be involved! Elected officials, other dignitaries and high school bands are invited by the parade committee.

General registration is open on a first-come, first-served basis until the parade line-up fills or until the announced registration deadline, whichever is first.

Do you allow same-day registration?

Unfortunately, we are unable to accommodate entries that did not register and pay by the deadline. Once the deadline has passed no late entries will be allowed.  Entries that arrive on parade day will not be allowed to participate in the parade.

What happens if my entry needs to cancel or cannot attend that day, can I get a refund?

If you cancel before the registration deadline, you will receive a refund. If you cancel after the registration deadline or do not show the day of the parade, you will not receive a refund.

Why do you limit the number of parade entries?

Limiting the number of entries ensures a positive experience both for parade participants and for people attending the parade. We are able to anticipate how long the parade lasts, and allow viewers to make it to the Tree Lighting in a reasonable time.

What are the costs for entries?

  • $30 for 1 Vehicle

  • $55 for 2 Vehicles

  • Float (either large float or vehicle with attached float) is $60

  • Non-Profit Entry is $35

  • ​Walking Entry (only Walkers, no vehicle) is $20

  • Media Entry is $75.00

Can my entry or those participating distribute candy, etc.?

NO. NO. NO. Respectfully, NO.

Candy, samples or other materials of any kind may NOT be thrown/handed out or otherwise distributed in any way from entries or participants while on the parade route in compliance with City of Winston-Salem ordinance.

In order to keep the procession moving smoothly and not block anyone’s view, we do not allow entries to distribute any items of any kind.

Does our entry have to be illuminated?

Since the parade takes place in the early evening, we ask that entries be illuminated.  The parade committee and downtown Winston-Salem cannot guarantee outlets, please see our page under “For Participants” about Float Lighting Tips for ideas on how to light your entry.

Can I request a certain spot in the parade lineup?

We cannot guarantee a specific spot, but if you request an approximate spot we will do our best to accommodate you.

Can I include Santa and other Christmas themes in my entry?

We encourage festive holiday themes, decorations and music. However, entries are not allowed to have anyone dressed as Santa and Mrs. Claus. The only Santa and Mrs. Claus appear on the official Santa float at the end of the parade. Elves, reindeer, and other characters are permitted.

*If we see a Santa or Mrs. Claus, you will be asked to remove them. If you do not comply, you may lose your spot in the Parade.*

Is this a Christmas Parade?

Not necessarily. It is a Holiday Parade, celebrating the many different Holidays we have at this time of year. You are a welcome to decorate for Christmas, but please remember the other Holidays, such as Kwanzaa, Hannukah, winter solstice and Yule. We LOVE inclusivity!

Does my entry design need to be approved in advance?

When you register, you are asked to submit a description of your entry, which helps us arrange a varied line-up. However, you do not need to submit designs for approval. We do reserve the right to remove entries that are not appropriate for a family-friendly community event.

Can I bring my payment on the day of the parade?

We request that entries pay in advance online via Paypal. If you have not paid, you may not be allowed to be in the Parade.

Parade day is very hectic and we want to ensure that your payment isn’t misplaced. When paying online or by check, please indicate for which entry you are paying.

How can I get extra exposure for my business as a sponsor?

Sponsorships are an excellent opportunity to promote your business before 10,000 parade attendees, on social media and in other parade publicity. Several affordable sponsorship opportunities are available.

You can sponsor santa, dignitaries, signage, and competitions among other things,  please email for more information.

I have a question that isn’t answered here. Whom do I contact?

Questions, comments, or suggestions? Email us at

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