Get Ready for the Holidays with the WRAL Raleigh Christmas Parade

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“Raleigh puts on a great show, and I love to see the community enjoying it.  The people are so kind, the floats are creative and funny and it’s great to see the kids light up when they see Santa’s sleigh.
-WRAL-TV’s Kelcey Carlson

Santa Claus Downtown Raleigh will play host November 23, 2013, to the biggest holiday parade between Washington, D.C. and Atlanta. The annual WRAL-TV Raleigh Christmas Parade is the Triangle’s annual kickoff event for the holiday season.

WRAL-TV will broadcast the parade live on both television and online at

WRAL-TV morning news personalities Bill Leslie, Kelcey Carlson and Elizabeth Gardner will host the festivities on television and

Presented by Shop Local Raleigh, the parade draws tens of thousands to the Fayetteville Street area.

“It’s fun co-anchoring with Kelcey because it gives us a chance to loosen up and let our personalities shine a little more than during regular newscasts,” said Leslie. “I also love the crisp autumn air, the smiling faces and the holiday buzz.  It is fun to ad lib when things change during the course of the parade.  And Santa also brings a big smile to our faces.”

“Bill is great to co-anchor with,” said Carlson. “I love talking about childhood memories and family traditions.”

The parade steps off at 10 a.m. from the corner of Hillsborough and St. Mary’s Street. The 1.2 mile route takes bands, floats and marchers east on Hillsborough Street, south at the Capitol on Salisbury Street, east on Morgan and down Fayetteville Street.

In its 69th year, the 2013 edition of the parade will featured more than 115 entries, including fantastic floats, super-sized balloons, marching bands, entertainers, specialty vehicles and a special North Pole visitor.

The grand marshal of the 2013 parade is NC State College of Design professor Justin LeBlanc from TV’s hit show “Project Runway.”

Watch the parade live on WRAL-TV or Join the conversation on Twitter with #WRALparade.

Tune in for a parade replay each Saturday in December at 10 a.m. on WRAL2 , plus a special holiday presentation on WRAL-TV at 4 p.m. on Christmas Day.

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