Coming soon to a holiday near you? A parade of parades.
A sleigh might be Santa’s preferred mode of transportation, but at these parades across the United States and Canada prove, you can get into the holiday spirit via a variety of vehicles. From a lighted tractor parade in California to whizzing down a mountainside on skis while holding torches in Utah, these unlikely events put a new spin on holiday parades. Here are ten events to kick off the holiday season.
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24th Annual Calistoga Lighted Tractor Parade
WHERE: Calistoga, California
Get a glimpse of country life during this parade punctuated by a convoy of vintage and modern tractors, antique trucks, and other utility vehicles decked out in sparkly lights and festive ornamentation cruising along Lincoln Avenue, the Napa Valley town’s main drag. Awards are given out in multiple categories, including the best-decorated pre-1960 tractor. The parade begins promptly at 7 p.m. on December 7 and is part of Calistoga’s much larger holiday celebration taking place over the course of the weekend, which includes a Christmas tree lighting ceremony, photos with Santa Claus, and a holiday trolley lights tour.
Torchlight Parade, Park City Mountain Village
WHERE: Park City, Utah
Start a new Christmas Eve tradition by marveling as skiers and snowboarders whiz down the slopes leading to Park City Mountain Village for the annual Torchlight Parade. With lighted torches in hand, instructors from the resort carve illuminated zigzags down the mountainside, leading Santa Claus into town to deliver cookies and hot chocolate to all of the girls and boys not on his naughty list. The parade starts at 5:30 p.m. and the festivities don’t stop until after dusk.
37th Annual Boat Parade of Lights
WHERE: Lake Havasu, Arizona
Nudging up against the border between Arizona and California, Lake Havasu City has long been known for its rich boating culture, so it should come as no surprise that when it comes to a holiday parade, this city of 52,500 takes to the waters. The parade runs over the course of two consecutive nights—December 6 and 7, both beginning at 6:30 p.m.—and will feature nearly 50 boats festively decorated in their holiday finery, cruising through the Bridgewater Channel before ducking under the famous London Bridge.
Lebanon Horse Drawn Carriage Parade
WHERE: Lebanon, Ohio
Horse-drawn carriages are the only mode of transportation permitted to participate in this annual event in Lebanon, a city located about 30 miles northeast of Cincinnati. The parade is broken down into two events. The first begins at 1 p.m. on December 7 and is followed by a much larger evening parade at 7 p.m. with more than 100 decorated carriages being pulled by Clydesdales, Percherons, and other majestic horse breeds. In the hours between the two parades, a Christmas Festival will be held on Mulberry Street with vendors selling crafts, food, drinks, and more.
Truck Light Convoy and Food Drive
WHERE: Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Every year a fleet of dozens of blinged-out garbage trucks rambles along the streets of Victoria, a coastal city located on Vancouver Island in Canada, and this year is no different. Scheduled for Saturday, December 7, the annual event organized by the Island Equipment Owners Association (IEOA) expects 80 vehicles to participate, and the parade starts rolling through town beginning at Ogden Point at 5:45 p.m. on December 7. Make sure to keep an eye out for Santa Claus, who we hear will be aboard the second truck in line.
Truckers Christmas Parade
WHERE: Eureka, California
A tradition of this Northern California city for more than 25 years, the annual Truckers Christmas Parade is just that, a convoy of up to 100 18-wheelers chugging through town decked out in their holiday finest. In previous years, it’s not been uncommon for truckers to decorate their big rigs with more than 40,000 twinkling lights. The parade, which locales have dubbed “The greatest show on wheels,” kicks off December 7. Get ready for a honking good time!
Santa Arrives by Lobster Boat
WHERE: Kennebunkport, Maine
In most cities around the globe, children can anticipate having Santa Claus touch down on their rooftops via a reindeer-pulled sleigh, but not in Kennebunkport. Instead, Santa arrives at this historic fishing village on board a lobster boat. After docking at The Boathouse Waterfront Hotel and Restaurant, Santa and his Lobster Elves set out on foot and parade to Community House and Temple Street, where kids of all ages can get photos with the jolly old elf. The event, which is part of the city’s multi-day Christmas Prelude, is scheduled for 2 p.m. on December 8.
21st Annual Golf Cart Parade
WHERE: Bradenton, Florida
For more than two decades, residents living in this coastal city south of Tampa have been gussying up their golf carts for the annual Golf Cart Parade. This year’s parade is scheduled for December 15 (time TBD). Expect no shortage of creatively decorated carts, from ones designed to replicate Santa’s overstuffed sleigh to a Christmas tree on four wheels.