Smile Politely

The Parade of Lights is returning to Downtown Champaign

After a virtual shoebox parade last year, the beloved Parade of Lights is coming back to Downtown Champaign for an in person event. The 21st annual event will be November 27th, and will have the theme Blue Christmas/Holidays with the usual marching bands, lighted floats, and entertainment. Visits with Santa, horse and carriage rides and the first “candy crawl” will all be a part of the day. 

Right now, they are asking businesses, organizations, and civic groups who would like to have a parade entry to sign up. Spots are limited and will fill up quickly. From the press release: 

Entry of floats is $75 for businesses and $50 for nonprofits registered by October 31st. Float registration fees rise to $150 for businesses and $75 for nonprofits on November 1st, with a cut-off date of November 19th or until parade capacity is reached. All parade entries must include lights. Candy will be off limits this year during the parade procession, instead float entries can donate candy to an inaugural “candy crawl” occurring throughout downtown before the parade.

Many volunteers will be needed to make the event happen. You can sign up to volunteer, and find parade entry forms at the Champaign Center Partnership website

They are also taking nominations for Grand Marshal. You can nominate someone through October 3rd at 11:59 p.m. Special consideration will be given to essential workers employed in Champaign’s city center.

Top photo from Champaign Center Partnership.

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