The Asheville Holiday Parade, presented by Bojangles of WNC, rolls, dances and marches through downtown Asheville on Saturday, November 17 beginning at 11am. The parade features 100 entries including marching bands, dance and cheer squads, youth sports, nonprofits and businesses. This year’s parade theme is “Appalachian Holiday.” The parade is produced by the Asheville Downtown Association in partnership with the City of Asheville.
2018 Grand Marshal is hiker, author, speaker and National Geographic Adventurer of the Year, Jennifer Pharr Davis. In 2011, Davis completed the Appalachian Trail (2,185 miles) in 46 days, 11 hours and 20 minutes, making her the fastest A.T. hiker until the record was broken again in 2015. In total, she’s hiked more than 14,000 miles of long-distance trails on six continents — adventures that informed her seven books, numerous articles, interviews and speeches on making the wilderness accessible to all. This Ashevillean served as board member for the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and an ambassador for the American Hiking Society.
Parade entries include a little something for everyone with decorated floats, adoptable pets from area rescue organizations, our Honored Veterans float, live music, performances, and of course, Santa Claus, brought to you by the NC Arboretum’s Winter Lights.
The parade’s official performance stop is located at the corner of Biltmore and Patton Avenues.
Once again, the City of Asheville, NC Arboretum, Asheville Downtown Association will partner for Downtown Local Lights, an artistic holiday light display at Pack Square, and new this year, Pritchard Park. Additional funding was provided this year by the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority. Downtown Local Lights will kickoff Saturday, November 17 at 5pm at Pack Square with free photos with Santa, hot chocolate from French Broad Chocolate Lounge and holiday carols from Cantaria. The official lighting ceremony will be at 6pm.
Adding to the holiday fun is the Asheville Downtown Association’s Holiday Windows Contest. Downtown businesses decorate their windows in keeping with the “Appalachian Holiday” theme. Businesses can visit ashevilledowntown.org to download an application to participate. The deadline to submit is November 27.
2018 sponsors include: Bojangles of WNC, The North Carolina Arboretum’s Winter Lights, Apple Tree Honda, Asheville Sun Soo Martial Arts, Kudzu Brands, Aloft Asheville Downtown, WLOS ABC 13, My40, Mix 96.5, Star 104.3, The 828.com, 99.9 Kiss Country, Asheville Scene, Asheville Citizen-Times and Asheville Color & Imaging.