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Best Holiday Parade (2022)

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Holiday parades across the continent, like these ten, bring holiday cheer in the form of festive floats, dancing elves, Santa and his sleigh, and millions of twinkling lights. 

  • America's Thanksgiving Parade

    America's Thanksgiving Parade
    Detroit, Michigan

    Detroit has been hosting America’s Thanksgiving Parade (presented by Gardner-White) since 1924. Since then, it has grown to become one of the largest and most popular parades in the country, complete with marching bands, helium balloons and colorful, larger-than-life floats making their way down historic Woodward Avenue each Thanksgiving morning.
    Photo courtesy of The Parade Company

  • Philadelphia Mummers Parade

    Philadelphia Mummers Parade
    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

    The Mummers Parade, one of the longest running traditions in the nation, has roots dating back to the 1800s as a celebration of the New Year in Philly. The colorful procession along Broad Street features performances by comics, string bands and fancy brigades in their spectacular costumes.
    Photo courtesy of J. Fusco for VISIT PHILADELPHIA®

  • Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

    Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
    New York, New York

    Each Thanksgiving morning, 50 million people across the country tune in to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, while 3.5 million watch live from New York. This traditional holiday season opener since 1924 is famous for its giant inflatable balloons, depicting popular characters like Charlie Brown, Hello Kitty and Elf of the Shelf. Live performances along the parade route highlight pop icons and the Rockettes.
    Photo courtesy of Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

  • Gatlinburg Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade

    Gatlinburg Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade
    Gatlinburg, Tennessee

    The Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade rolls through Downtown Gatlinburg in celebration of the holiday season. The lineup includes balloons, floats from local businesses, 11 marching bands, equestrian units and an appearance by Santa Claus.
    Photo courtesy of iStock / Manu1174

  • Reston Holiday Parade

    Reston Holiday Parade
    Reston, Virginia

    The Reston Holiday Parade, a day after Thanksgiving tradition since 1991, travels through Reston Town Center and features antique cars, musicians, dancers and floats carrying special guests and local dignitaries.
    Photo courtesy of Lesnick Photo

  • Eastport Yacht Club Lights Parade

    Eastport Yacht Club Lights Parade
    Annapolis, Maryland

    The Eastport Yacht Club Lights Parade takes place on the second Saturday of December, when the Annapolis Harbor fills with boats illuminated in colorful lights as spectators gather along the waterfront. Many docks and balconies are decorated as well, adding to the festive atmosphere.
    Photo courtesy of Eastport Yacht Club Lights Parade

  • Tournament of Roses Parade

    Tournament of Roses Parade
    Pasadena, California

    If the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade kicks off the holiday season, the Tournament of Roses Parade draws it to a close. Known as “America’s New Year Celebration,” this colorful parade of flower-covered floats has been a favorite for almost 130 years.
    Photo courtesy of AP Photo/Reed Saxon

  • Calistoga Lighted Tractor Parade

    Calistoga Lighted Tractor Parade
    Calistoga, California

    Calistoga's Lighted Tractor Parade is a quintessential small town celebration of the holiday season, inspired by the community's agricultural heritage. During the annual event, vintage and modern tractors, antique trucks and construction equipment decked in twinkling lights parade down Calistoga's main street to usher in the holiday season.
    Photo courtesy of Visit Calistoga

  • San Diego Bay Parade of Lights

    San Diego Bay Parade of Lights
    San Diego, California

    Each year, the San Diego bayfront fills up with spectators awaiting the annual San Diego Bay Parade of Lights. Now in its 52nd year, the Parade of Lights features around 80 elaborately decorated boats, with prizes for the best decorations.
    Photo courtesy of San Diego Bay Parade of Lights

  • Magnificent Mile Lights Festival

    Magnificent Mile Lights Festival
    Chicago, Illinois

    Chicago’s Magnificent Mile Lights Festival features two days of holiday events leading up to the grand finale, a tree-lighting parade down Michigan Avenue to kick off the holiday season. The parade will feature marching bands from around the country, helium-filled balloons, decorated floats and an appearance by Mickey and Minnie Mouse.
    Photo courtesy of Vito Palmisano

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The top 10 winners in the category Best Holiday Parade are as follows:

  1. America's Thanksgiving Parade - Detroit, Michigan
  2. Philadelphia Mummers Parade - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  3. Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade - New York, New York
  4. Gatlinburg Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade - Gatlinburg, Tennessee
  5. Reston Holiday Parade - Reston, Virginia
  6. Eastport Yacht Club Lights Parade - Annapolis, Maryland
  7. Tournament of Roses Parade - Pasadena, California
  8. Calistoga Lighted Tractor Parade - Calistoga, California
  9. San Diego Bay Parade of Lights - San Diego, California
  10. Magnificent Mile Lights Festival - Chicago, Illinois

A panel of experts partnered with 10Best editors to pick the initial nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote.

Congratulations to all these winning parades!

License the 10Best Readers' Choice Award Logo

 

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AlertThe Experts

10Best Editors

10Best Editors

10Best Editors

Deborah Fallows

Deborah Fallows

Deborah Fallows

Nikky J

Nikky J

Nikky J

Robert Niles

Robert Niles

Robert Niles
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