Best Holiday Parade? The Eastport Yacht Club Lights Parade!
Twinkle Light Parade, H-E-B Thanksgiving Day Parade, Reston Holiday Parade and Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade also winners
Dancing elves, festive floats, boats covered in twinkling lights, Santa in his sleigh – these are some of the many sights you might see as a spectator at one of these 10 holiday parades, voted as the best in the U.S. by 10Best readers.
Eastport Yacht Club Lights Parade (Annapolis, Md.)
Each holiday season on the second Saturday in December the Eastport Yacht Club in Annapolis hosts its festive Lights Parade on the waters of Annapolis Harbor. Boats illuminated by thousands of colorful lights float along the waterfront in celebration of the holiday season. Photo courtesy of Eastport Yacht Club Lights Parade / Facebook
Twinkle Light Parade (Albuquerque)
's historic Nob Hill
neighborhood transforms into a winter wonderland during the annual Twinkle Light Parade along Central Avenue. The procession along the mile-long parade route features 300,000 lights, dozens of floats, fire trucks, car clubs, marching bands and an appearance by Mr. and Mrs. Claus in their sleigh. Photo courtesy of Eric Williams
H-E-B Thanksgiving Day Parade (Houston)
The first Houston
Thanksgiving Day Parade was hosted in 1949 between Union Station and Foley's in downtown. Today, the H-E-B-sponsored event celebrates Thanksgiving with festive floats, marching bands, giant balloons and live entertainment. Photo courtesy of Ed Uthman / Flickr
Reston Holiday Parade (Reston, Va.)
Reston Town Center in Reston, Va. will host the 26th annual Reston Holiday Parade in 2016, featuring giant inflatable balloons, live music, dancers, antique cars and local dignitaries marching along the half-mile parade route on Market Street. Photo ops with Santa and Mrs. Claus are available after the parade. Photo courtesy of Watkins H. / Reston Town Center / Facebook
Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade (New York)
Nothing says "Thanksgiving" quite like waking up to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade marching through the streets of New York City
. This traditional holiday season opener since 1924 is famous for its giant inflatable balloons, depicting popular characters like Paddington Bear, Pikachu and Thomas the Tank Engine. Live performances along the parade route highlight pop icons and the Rockettes. Photo courtesy of Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
Calistoga Lighted Tractor Parade (Calistoga, Calif.)
McDonald's Thanksgiving Parade (Chicago)
Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade (Fort Lauderdale)
's Winterfest Boat Parade, held at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, calls itself "The Greatest Show on H2O." More than a million spectators line up along the 12-mile route through Fort Lauderdale's waterways, making it one of the largest single-day spectator events in the nation. For those who can't make it in person, the entire event is streamed live online. Photo courtesy of Winterfest Boat Parade
Christmas Ships Parade (Portland, Ore.)
Going strong for over 60 years, the annual Christmas Ships Parade
features five dozen ships of all sizes bedecked with sparkling holiday lights. Each night for two weeks, boat owners proudly cruise the Willamette and Columbia Rivers, providing holiday cheer to shore side onlookers. Spectators can see the Christmas Ships up close, meet the captains, take pictures and chat with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Photo courtesy of Christmas Ship Parade / Facebook
Mickey's Once Upon A Christmastime Parade (Orlando)
Part of Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party, the Once Upon A Christmastime Parade sees Mickey and friends (including Santa Claus) parading down Main Street, U.S.A. in Orlando
's Magic Kingdom
park. Spectators can see their favorite Disney characters, including the Seven Dwarfs, Olaf, Winnie the Pooh and Tigger. Photo courtesy of Ryan Wendle / Walt Disney Wolrd
The top 10 winners in the category Best Holiday Parade are as follows:
- Eastport Yacht Club Lights Parade - Annapolis, Md.
- Twinkle Light Parade - Albuquerque
- H-E-B Thanksgiving Day Parade - Houston
- Reston Holiday Parade - Reston, Va.
- Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade - New York
- Calistoga Lighted Tractor Parade - Calistoga, Calif.
- McDonald’s Thanksgiving Parade - Chicago
- Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade - Fort Lauderdale
- Christmas Ships Parade - Portland, Ore.
- Mickey's Once Upon A Christmastime Parade - Orlando
A panel of experts partnered with 10Best editors to picked the initial 20 nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote. Experts Larry Bleiberg, Eric Grossman, Anna Hider (Roadtrippers) and Gerrish Lopez were chosen based on their extensive experience covering travel in North America.
Additional nominees for the category Best Holiday Parade included A Christmas Fantasy Parade in Anaheim, Children's Christmas Parade in Atlanta, Dallas Children's Health Holiday Parade, Holiday Boat Parade of Lights in Alexandria, Hollywood Christmas Parade, Mayor's Christmas Parade in Baltimore, Mummers Parade in Philadelphia, Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade, Sparks Hometowne Christmas Parade and the World Famous Fish House Parade in Aitkin.