Holiday parade favorites, such as high school bands, dance groups and Santa Claus, will return to downtown Cary for the 36th annual Christmas Parade hosted by the Cary Jaycees.
But this year, they will follow a new route.
On Saturday, Dec. 12, more than 100 floats, cars and groups will travel down Chatham Street from Ward Street to West Street. The parade is scheduled from 2 to 4 p.m. and will be held rain or shine.
The parade will start at the same location as in years past at the corner of Ward and East Chatham streets. From there it usually turns left onto South Academy Street, but because of downtown streetscape projects, the parade will continue straight on West Chatham Street.
“It will just be a straight parade (route),” said Cody Underwood, co-chair of the parade.
Out of more than 100 entries, there are about 30 new groups participating that were not a part of last year’s parade.
“I think it’s kind of neat to see the new ones come in and bring in new things,” Underwood said. “We’ve got a couple people who are pulling boats. I know Bass Pro (Shop) is going to have a boat.”
Besides Santa Claus, nine local school bands will be in the parade, including four Cary schools – Panther Creek High, Cary High, Green Hope High and Reedy Creek Middle – as well as the Cary Alumni Band. Candy will be handed out.
This year’s grand marshal will be Cary Police Chief Tony Godwin.
“Other than that, there’s all kinds of (groups),” Underwood said. “It ranges from Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts to different sports groups. We’ve got a soccer group and a baseball group in there. We’ve got a little bit of everything.”
Attendees who want to hear details about the clubs and organizations in the parade should sit by the intersection of Academy and Chatham streets, where an emcee will be stationed, said Lisa Simmons, co-chair of the parade.
“My favorite part is riding on the float at the end and seeing everybody and just knowing that they actually enjoyed it after the hard work that we put into it,” she said.
Chatham Street from Ward to West streets will close about 1 p.m. for the duration of the parade. Simmons said people can park on side streets or in the parking garage next to the Herb Young Community Center at the Town Hall Campus.
Kathryn Trogdon: 919-460-2608: @KTrogdon
Want to go?
When: Saturday, Dec. 12, 2 p.m. Participants line up at 1 p.m.
Where: Chatham Street from Ward Street to West Street
Street closing: Chatham Street from Ward to West streets will close at 1 p.m. for the duration of the parade.
Parking: Parking is available in the garage next to the Herb Young Community Center at the Town Hall Campus off North Academy Street, as well as side streets.