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Annual Holiday Parade Returns to Downtown Boone This Saturday at 2 p.m.

Santa Claus when he made an appearance at the Holiday Parade in 2016

By Harley Nefe

Between looking at lights, listening to music, viewing shows and more, there are many activities people enjoy participating in to get into the holiday spirit. A beloved annual event that is making a return this year is the upcoming Town of Boone Holiday Parade on Saturday, December 11 at 2 p.m.

“We’re excited to get back to our annual tradition of having a Holiday Parade in Downtown Boone,” said Mark Freed, Cultural Resources Director for the Town of Boone. “Last year, we didn’t do it with it being in the height of the pandemic, but we are looking forward to it returning and seeing everybody out.”

Downtown Boone is already decked out in lights in preparation for the winter season. And on Saturday afternoon, local businesses and organizations will show off their Christmas and holiday best with floats, marchers, costumes and performances to celebrate the tradition.

“We have several of our local dance groups who will be performing there,” Freed described. “We will have the high school marching band there, and we are very excited about that. Lots of local businesses will be represented and organizations — from Girl Scouts to the High Country Breast Cancer Foundation to the Hunger and Health Coalition. We will have some radio stations represented. Of course, we will also have a special guest for the holiday parade — Mr. Claus, himself.”

Santa Claus will be making an appearance at the finale of the parade.

The parade is expected to last an hour, and the event will happen rain or shine, unless there are thunderstorms or heavy downpours taking place.

The parade route will travel east on King Street in Downtown Boone, beginning at the Poplar Grove Connector and ending at Hardin Street. Law enforcement will close down the road just prior to the beginning of the parade at 2 p.m. and will open the area up to traffic after the event.

For parking, folks are encouraged to park on campus lots of Appalachian State University that will be open and available. 

“Of course, Queen Street is a place to park if you can get there before the parade starts or any of the downtown lots,” Freed said. “Just know that if you’re parking on King Street, that you may be stuck for a short time period.”

After the parade, people have the opportunity to visit all of Downtown Boone’s restaurants, stores and businesses to shop for gifts, baked goods and any other items that may be needed to prepare for the holiday season. 

“We’re really looking forward to the event,” Freed said. “It’ll have an extra festive feel about it!”