Holiday Parade

Holiday Parade

Recreation & Parks is looking for parade units to help us light up the night and welcome Santa to Akron. The 36th annual Welcome Santa Parade will step off at 6:00 PM on Friday, November 24, 2023, in Downtown Akron. Due to the popularity of last year’s parade, the 2023 Welcome Santa Parade will return as an illuminated night parade. Registration is free and open to community groups, arts and cultural organizations, marching bands, drum lines, and businesses with illuminated floats, vehicles, costumes, and/or outfits. Immediately following the parade, please join us for Lock 3’s annual Tree Lighting Ceremony & Fireworks.

  • All units must be illuminated/lighted (lighting is required for the safety of parade attendees as well as for entertainment value).

  • Parade check-in time is 5:00 PM. Lineup numbers will be provided at check-in .

  • Only one Santa Claus is permitted in the parade.

  • Units with animals must provide their own cleanup services.

  • No throwing of candy/other objects (must be handed out).

  • Only nationally recognized beauty contest winners permitted.

  • Only politicians currently in office may participate.

  • No stationary performances in front of the reviewing stand. The parade must keep moving.

  • Applications must be returned no later than November 14th by emailing them to Tracy Murphy at

Holiday Parade Application 
Click here for the Holiday Parade application. Applications must be returned no later than November 14th by emailing them to Tracy Murphy at

Spectator Information
Please join us in welcoming Santa back to Akron!  Cheer on the floats, marching bands, costumed characters, and community organizations as they make their way down Main Street and Bowery to the Lock 3 back yard.

Those wishing to watch the parade can line up along South Main Street between Exchange and Bowery and on Bowery between South Main Street and the Lock 3 back yard.  Spectators are encouraged to bring their own chairs and blankets.  The parade will take place snow, rain, or shine.

The parade awards ceremony, tree lighting celebration, and fireworks display will take place immediately following the parade on the show mobile stage at the Lock 3 back yard.