Holiday Parade and Events

Asheville Holiday Parade

The Asheville Holiday Parade, presented by Bojangles, rolls, dances and marches through downtown Asheville on the Saturday before Thanksgiving. The 2021 Parade will be held on Saturday, November 20 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. Sponsors and Partners make the Parade possible. Thanks to Bojangles, Explore Asheville, Ingles Markets, Winter Lights at the NC Arboretum, Apple Tree Honda, Sun Soo Martial Arts, Deerfield, Kudzu Brands, WLOS, Star 104.3, 99.9 Kiss Country, Mix 96.5, 98.1 The River, Go Minis, Kimpton Hotel Arras, Aloft Asheville Downtown and Asheville Color & Imaging.

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. Find a list of entries here.

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.

Parade after party and free photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus Following the parade check out the Winter Tree Carnival at Rabbit Rabbit, 75 Coxe Ave. From 2 to 4 p.m., there will be free photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus, courtesy of IMA Photos & Images, games and activities from Kickback Party Rental, crafts from LEAF Easel Rider, and more.

Parking garages

Wall Street Garage is accessible via Otis Street;
Aloft/Biltmore Garage is accessible via South Lexington Avenue; Buncombe County Courthouse Garage is accessible via College Street; Buncombe County Health & Human Services Parking Garage is accessible via Coxe Avenue;
Rankin Avenue and Civic Center garages are accessible via Rankin Avenue.
Pack Square Parking Garage is accessible via S. Market St.

Street closures
Charlotte Street between College and McCormick Place will be closed to traffic at 7:30 a.m. to accommodate the parade line-up. Detour via McCormick Place and Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. Charlotte Street will reopen to traffic shortly after the parade has cleared the area.
North and South Pack Square will close at 7:45 a.m. for the TV crew and judges area (no parking towing enforced).
The parade route will begin closing at 9 a.m. (no parking towing enforced). All roads intersecting the parade route will be limited to local traffic only.
Roads are expected to reopen around 2 p.m. once street sweeping and cleanup is complete.

Other helpful information
Restrooms: Available at the Pack Square Park Pavilion, 121 College St. Find portable potties on South Pack Square/Biltmore, and in the following parking lots along the parade route: LaZoom Room on Biltmore, First Bank at Patton/Church.

Transit routes will be impacted. Please check https://www.ashevillenc.gov/service/transit-maps-schedules for scheduled adjustments.

ADA Accessibility: For anyone requiring accessible parking or other ADA accommodations, please contact the Parade Accessibility Coordinator at 828-251-9973 by noon, November 19.

COVID safety: The Asheville Downtown Association is monitoring COVID-19 trends and consulting with local public health and medical officials, and will follow any guidelines set forth by the CDC, State of North Carolina, Buncombe County and the City of Asheville. If you can’t stay at least 6 feet apart from people who don’t live with you, wear your mask. Get vaccinated! Free COVID-19 vaccines are available to anyone 5 and older at the Buncombe County Health and Human Services COVID Vaccine clinic located at 40 Coxe Avenue. Clinic hours are Tuesday through Friday from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. No ID is required. Learn more at www.buncombeready.org.

Asheville Holiday Parade Logo

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.