The Asheville Holiday Parade rolls through downtown Asheville on Saturday, bringing with it the floats, marching bands and Santa, of course. The parade route is the same as last year.

A couple of notes: The city is partnering with The North Carolina Arboretum’s Winter Lights for a light display centered around the Vance Monument. The first lighting will happen at 6 p.m. on Nov. 19. Also, Wall Street will be shut down to car traffic throughout the day on Saturday to encourage people to walk the little avenue.asheville_holiday_parade_2016

Here’s the full press release from the Asheville Downtown Association:

The Asheville Holiday Parade, presented by Bojangles of WNC, rolls, dances and marches through downtown Asheville on Saturday, November 19, 2016 beginning at 11am. This year’s theme is Light Up the Holidays- Celebrating 70 Years. The parade features nearly 100 entries including marching bands, dance and cheer squads, nonprofits and businesses. The parade begins on Biltmore Avenue at Charlotte Street, traveling north. Our performance stop as well as Parade Judges and TV cameras are located at the intersection of Biltmore Avenue and Patton Avenue (at Pack Square). The parade then travels west on Patton Avenue ending at French Broad Avenue.

2016 Grand Marshals are Asheville Community Theatre. Like the parade, ACT is celebrating 70 years in the Asheville community.

“We’re thrilled to me named this year’s Grand Marshals. For 70 years, ACT has been committed to this community. We are proud to have been a presence in downtown Asheville for decades where we have cultivated partnerships and collaborations with many of our wonderful neighbors,” said Jenny Bunn, the theatre’s marketing director.

Parade entries include a little something for everyone with decorated floats, adoptable pets from area rescue organizations, our Honored Veterans float sponsored by Express Employment Professionals, live music, performances, and of course, Santa Claus, brought to you by the NC Arboretum’s Winter Lights.

The performance stop is located at the corner of Biltmore and Patton Avenues. After the parade, families are invited to The Grove Arcade for photos with Santa from 2-4pm.

Adding to the holiday fun in downtown Asheville, parade attendees are invited to stroll “Walkable Wall Street.” Downtown’s Wall Street will be closed to vehicles throughout the day, opening it to pedestrians to enjoy the street and its merchants.

Also, the City of Asheville is partnering with The North Carolina Arboretum’s Winter Lights to unveil a seasonally bright display centered around the Vance Monument and Hoss Haley fountain area of Pack Square Park. The initial lighting will occur at 6 p.m. on November 19. From November 19 through January 20, eight trees in the Pack Square portion of Pack Square Park will be lit in seasonal tones.

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