With Thanksgiving right around the corner, Harrisburg is welcoming the holiday season with decorated floats, balloons and food trucks for its annual holiday parade.
This year’s theme is “Winter Wonderland,” which will be showcased through various activities on parade day. The festivities begin at noon on Saturday.
“There is no bad seat for this parade,” Harrisburg Mayor Eric Papenfuse said.
There will be over 100 floats from various organizations as well as musical acts, vintage cars, theater groups, marching bands and characters from the “Grinch,” “Star Wars” and “Paw Patrol.”
Large snowflake, Rudolph, turkey, snowman and snow globe-shaped cold air and helium balloons will hover over the street during the procession. The balloons are about 15-feet tall and provided by StarBound Entertainment.
The route begins at Market Street then heads to 2nd Street. From 2nd Street it marches toward North Street, then Front Street and ends at City Island.
Not only will there be plenty to feast your eyes on, but to actually feast on as well.
“This year, we’ve got some incredibly exciting food trucks,” Papenfuse said.
Along Market Street will be five food trucks, including 717 Tacos, Tiki T’s Mini Donuts and More, Knead HBG, Get Rollin’ Gourmet Eggrolls and Bartlebaugh Concessions. A map and menu show the trucks’ locations and what they’ll be serving up. Food will be available beginning at 10 a.m.
During the parade, there will be a carnival game for the kids and after the parade, families can head to Strawberry Square to meet Santa and enjoy hot chocolate and cookies.
Awards will be given for marching bands and drill, step-and-dance teams. Winners will be chosen on the basis of the music, performance and theme of the act, explained ExploreHBG’s Director of Marketing and Communications Devan Drabik. Judges will include members of the local media, and an awards ceremony will take place in Strawberry Square.
“We have some fantastic new awards this year,” Papenfuse said.
Parking for the parade will be $10 at the Market Square Garage from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Street parking is free for four hours by using the code “LUVHBG” on the ParkMobile App. Parade route roads will be closed from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Sponsors for the event include Visit Hershey & Harrisburg, ExploreHBG, Capital BlueCross and others.
“I hope everyone will make it out and get in the holiday spirit,” Papenfuse said.
Harrisburg’s holiday parade begins on Market Street at 12 p.m. on Nov. 23. For more information, visit www.harrisburgpa.gov/holiday-parade.