75th Raleigh Christmas Parade: The Triangle's tradition marks start of holiday season

The 75th annual Raleigh Christmas Parade marched through downtown on Nov. 23, 2019. It was the 46th year the parade was broadcast live on WRAL.

Presented by Shop Local Raleigh, the Raleigh Christmas Parade is the largest Christmas parade between Washington, D.C., and Atlanta.

Tens of thousands line the street annually for the celebration of the holiday season that features high school bands, local merchants, marchers in costume, floats, enormous balloons and the arrival of Santa Claus.

Raleigh Christmas Parade Route

The 1.4-mile long parade starts at Hillsborough Street and St. Mary’s Street at 9:30 a.m.

From there, the parade:

  • Travels east on Hillsborough Street at St. Mary's Street
  • Proceeds to the state capitol
  • Turns right at the capitol onto Salisbury Street
  • Turns left onto Morgan Street
  • Turns right onto Fayetteville Street
  • Turns right onto Davie Street
  • Turns left onto Salisbury Street
  • Ends at Lenoir Street

Watching the Raleigh Christmas parade in person

For many families, going to the Raleigh Christmas Parade is an annual tradition. The plan ahead to navigate the crowds, get a good parking spot and stay warm (or cool) and cozy.

Check out Go Ask Mom's guide for tips for families, where to park and how to get the best vantage point.

A new tradition – WRAL's Winter Wonderland – began in 2018, welcoming guests to St. Mary's School on Hillsborough Street for sledding, visits with Santa, arts, crafts, food trucks and more to celebrate the season.

The 2019 WRAL Winter Wonderland was open from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. with ice sculptures and a special celebrity guest!

Watch the Raleigh Christmas where ever you are

WRAL-TV's morning team, including Renee Chou, Jeff Hogan, Brian Shrader and Elizabeth Gardner, host WRAL’s live coverage of the annual Christmas parade from Hillsborough Street in downtown Raleigh.

Christmas Parade team

In 2019, as the parade celebrated 75 years in Raleigh, the morning started with a tribute to the event's history in the City of Oaks.

The parade always airs live and commercial-free on WRAL-TV, and streams on WRAL.com, on the WRAL-TV Facebook page, and in WRAL's apps for Roku, Apple TV and Amazon Fire.

It will be rebroadcast on Christmas Day from 3 to 5 p.m. on WRAL-TV.

Parades of the past



2016 Raleigh Christmas parade photos

2015 Raleigh Christmas parade photos, video

2014 Raleigh Christmas parade photos

2013 Raleigh Christmas parade photos

2012 Raleigh Christmas parade photos

2010 Raleigh Christmas parade photos

2009 Raleigh Christmas parade photos

2008 Raleigh Christmas parade photos

2007 Raleigh Christmas parade photos

2006 Raleigh Christmas parade photos

2005 Raleigh Christmas parade photos