This Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015, marks the 71st anniversary of the WRAL-TV Raleigh Christmas Parade, presented by Shop Local Raleigh.
Tens of thousands of people make it their family tradition to watch the parade from street-side in downtown Raleigh and many more tune in from home.
The event annually ranks as one of the largest parades on the East Coast.
The parade is hosted by WRAL-TV morning news personalities Bill Leslie and Renee Chou, with Brian Shrader serving as street-side reporter.
The parade will feature 115 entries, including marching bands, festive floats, giant balloons, animals, entertainers, specialty vehicles, plus special holiday surprises. Raleigh City Councilman John Odom will be the grand marshal. And as always, a special North Pole visitor will arrive at the end of the parade.
The parade steps off at 9:40 a.m. from the corner of Hillsborough and St. Mary’s streets. The broadcast on WRAL-TV and WRAL.com begins at 10 a.m. as the parade travels east on Hillsborough Street, turns south at the Capitol on Salisbury Street, east on Morgan and then makes a final turn down Fayetteville Street.
This is the 42nd consecutive year that the event was broadcast live by WRAL-TV. The parade will also be streamed live on WRAL.com and in the the WRAL News app, and viewers across North Carolina can watch the parade on UNC-EX.
The holiday fun doesn’t stop when the parade ends.
The parade will be replayed on television December 5, 12 and 19 at noon on WRAL2, plus a special holiday presentation on WRAL-TV at 4 p.m. on Christmas Day.