Holiday Parade and Events

Holidays in Downtown Asheville

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are not currently hosting any in-person events or festivals. We will update our event pages as new information becomes available. Stay healthy and well.  

The Asheville Holiday Parade rolls, dances and marches through downtown Asheville on the Saturday before Thanksgiving beginning at 11am. The parade features more than 100 entries including marching bands, dance and cheer squads, youth sports, nonprofits and businesses. 

The Asheville Holiday Parade is produced by the Asheville Downtown Association, in partnership with the City of Asheville, and with support from area sponsors. 

Parade entries include a little something for everyone with decorated floats, adoptable pets from area rescue organizations, our Honored Veterans float, musical and special performances, and of course, Santa and Mrs. Claus.

The parade’s official performance stop is located at the corner of Biltmore and Patton Avenues, but attendees will find great viewing areas all along Biltmore and Patton Avenues. The parade ends on Patton Avenue at S. French Broad.

Friday night before the parade, the Asheville Downtown Association, in partnership with the North Carolina Arboretum and the City of Asheville, hosts the Downtown Winter Lights Lighting Ceremony at Pack Square Park. Not only do we “flip the switch” to officially kick off the Holiday Season in Downtown Asheville, we offer free photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus as well as caroling and kid’s activities.  

Parking

• Harrah’s Cherokee Center Garage - enter from Haywood Street or Rankin Avenue

• Rankin Avenue Garage - enter from Rankin Avenue or Walnut Street

• Wall Street Garage - enter from Otis Street near Patton Avenue

• Biltmore Avenue Garage - enter from Biltmore Avenue or S. Lexington Avenue

• Buncombe County Garage - enter from College Street
• Coxe Avenue Garage - enter from Sears Alley
• On-street metered parking is free after 6pm Monday - Saturday, free on Sundays
• Private lots - if you park in a private lot, be sure to read any signage and pay fees to avoid fines or towing

We also encourage you to check out our transit service, Asheville Rides Transit or use multi-model transportation.  

Volunteering

Interested in volunteering at our events? Just click here to learn more.

Prohibited Items

• Pets are not allowed in permitted special event boundaries (this is a City of Asheville ordinance), certified service dogs are excepted
• Weapons of any kind
• Illegal substances (including narcotics) or drug paraphernalia
• Outside alcoholic beverages
• Fireworks and explosives
• Coolers
• Tents
• Unauthorized vendors
• Moshing, crowd surfing, and/or stage diving
• Unauthorized solicitations, handbills, sampling, give-aways, etc.

Accessibility

We strive to make our events accessible to persons with disabilities. Accessible portajohn/s are located near other portable restrooms. Regarding wheelchair accessibility, sidewalks run throughout the event. These sidewalks will remain open for the duration of the event and provide the best route for ingress, egress and concert viewing. Some event areas are grassy or paved and may present bumps or inclines. Food vendors are required to be prepared to serve people with disabilities. If you have suggestions as to how we can better serve our neighbors with disabilities, please let us know by emailing info@ashevilledowntown.org.