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Kick off the holiday season at the Durham Holiday Parade!

Cheer on dynamic floats, hometown bands, drill teams, schools, and community groups as they make their way down Main Street at the Durham Holiday Parade. The procession will conclude with a guest appearance from Santa.

Holiday Parade

Saturday, December 18, 2021

11 a.m.

Downtown Durham – Main Street

Free Event

Rain or Shine

  • Floats
  • Bands
  • Mascots

Seating will not be provided. Spectators are encouraged to bring their own chairs and blankets.

Parade Route & Maps

The parade will start at the Health Department (Main and Dillard Streets) and end near Duke University East Campus (Main Street and Buchanan Boulevard).

Parade Route Map

Parade Staging Map

Parade Lineup

Check back in December for the list of organizations participating in the 2021 Holiday Parade.

Parade Performance Areas

Designated performance areas will be located near the following intersections: Mangum and Main streets, Chapel Hill and Main streets, and Duke and Main streets.

Parade Restrooms

Temporary restroom stations will be located near the following intersections: S. Elizabeth/Commerce and Main streets, Chapel Hill and Main streets, and Duke and Main streets.

Mayor Elect Elaine O Neal

Parade Marshal

We’re excited to welcome Mayor-elect, Elaine M. O’Neal, as the 2021 Holiday Parade Marshal.

Read about O’Neal in her bio.

Lena Tillett

Parade Emcee

The 2021 Holiday Parade Emcee is WRAL Evening Anchor, Lena Tillett.

Parade Participants

The online Parade Application will be available online on October 8, 2021 and all applications will be due by December 1.

Once the deadline has passed, applications will be reviewed and applicants will be notified of their status and asked to pay if they are accepted.

  • General Unit Entry (Walking, Car, Motorcycle, Horse, etc.): This is for units promoting a non-profit, organization, business or social group.
    • City Resident $75 | Non-City Resident $90
  • Marching Band: Any organized marching group that plays instruments for entertainment purposes.
    • Free
  • Float Rental: Apply for a float rental online through the Parade Application, available online on October 8, 2021. A limited quantity is available.
    • City Resident $750 | Non-City Resident $775

Rain Procedure: Please be prepared in the case of rain, snow, or other inclement weather. In the case of a weather event, the festival coordinator will consider and determine suspension or cancellation of any part or the entire event. You should not leave the parade area before the festival coordinator announces suspension or cancellation of the event. If you choose to leave before an official suspension or cancellation is made by the festival coordinator, no refund of event fees will be returned to the organization.

Refunds: No deposit and rental fees will be refunded for cancellations less than 30 calendar days prior to the proposed date of the event. Exceptions include when the cancellation is a result of an act of nature or the event is cancelled by DPR due to unforeseen circumstances. Please allow two to four weeks for processing. All refunds will be mailed to the individual, business, or organization’s address on the application.

Parade Volunteer Information

Interested in volunteering? Volunteers will receive a gift and snacks! Visit iVolunteer to sign up.

For information about the parade, email Rukea Womack.

Holiday Parade Parking

Locations Cost
Chapel Hill Street Garage Free
Corcoran Street Garage Free
Church Street Garage Free
Morgan/Rigsbee Garage Free
Durham County Justice Center $2 for first hour / $1 each additional hour



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