Tips on how to watch the ABC11/LeithCars.com Raleigh Christmas Parade presented by Shop Local Raleigh

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LeithCars.com is a proud sponsor of the ABC11 Raleigh Christmas Parade presented by Shop Local Raleigh.

The ABC11/LeithCars.Com Raleigh Christmas Parade presented by Shop Local Raleigh is today!

There is no better way to kick off the holiday season than with thousands of your closest friends in downtown Raleigh on November 18.

Having attended the parade the last several years, here are a few helpful hints I've picked up that will surely make your Christmas parade experience one to remember. Follow these "P"s for your perfect parade plan.

(Can't make it out on the 18th? No worries, you can watch the parade live on ABC11 and ABC11.com November 18 from 10 a.m. to noon. Also be sure to bookmark http://woobox.com/nn6oow for your chance to win an iPhone X or other amazing gifts during the parade.)

SEE OTHER RALEIGH CHRISTMAS PARADE STORIES HERE

CLICK HERE FOR INFORMATION ON STREET CLOSURES

Pack some canned food and your letters to Santa

It's almost time for the ABC11 Together Food Drive and you can bring your cans to the ABC11/LeithCars.com Raleigh Christmas Parade presented by Shop Local Raleigh. To drop off your cans, just look for the Food Drive signs along the parade route! Bring 3 cans or more and you'll get a Zaxby's coupon.

ABC11 and the United States Postal Service will be at the ABC11/LeithCars.com Raleigh Christmas Parade presented by Shop Local Raleigh to help with the collection.

Just drop your letter off at the ABC11 float or come to the courthouse steps on Fayetteville Street, across from our Raleigh newsroom, and we'll do the rest.

And make sure your letter to Santa contains a return address; the USPS will also be selling holiday stamps at the parade.

Pile Out and Patience

The early bird gets the best view...or something like that.

If you want really good seats...and I'm talking FEET away from Santa Claus, you'll want to arrive early ... like 7 a.m. early. Yeah, I know, who wants to get up early on a Saturday, right? But trust me. When your kids are screaming "SANTA LOOK IT'S SANTA!" You'll smile and think, "Worth it!" So grab some coffee at 42 & Lawrence, pile the kids under some blankets, and enjoy the early morning quiet with your family.

You may be asking: "But where do we sit?" In my experience, all areas of the parade have good viewing! With over a mile of the parade route to choose from, you can't go wrong. Check out the parade route here. Personally, I love the ambiance of Fayetteville St. Others like the open air and view of the Capital on Hillsborough Street.

Parking

With parking decks, street parking and more all over town, you won't be disappointed. There's a lot of parking available. If you're not familiar with downtown Raleigh, check out this map that shows you where all the parking garages are. It's like a gateway to the north pole! Not really, but just as magical.

Potties

You're sitting there, sipping your warm coffee, waiting for the parade to start. Then Junior cries "I HAVE TO GO TO THE BATHROOM!" Where do you go? Your first option is a porta-potty. They will be placed everywhere along the parade route. If you're like me though, you probably want to avoid a porta-potty and go back to that coffee shop. Hey, it's a clean, grounded restroom, and all you have to do is buy another cup of coffee...or that delicious looking pastry. You're getting a fantastic breakfast, a clean restroom, and supporting local businesses. It's a win-win!

Parade!


The parade will last about two and a half hours. Plenty of time to enjoy your second cup of coffee (or third, let's be honest) dance with the marching band, wave to Santa, and see all the beautifully decorated floats. Trust me. In 2.5 hours, you'll be singing "Merry Christmas Baby" at the top of your lungs, embarrassing your kids, and enjoying your newly-found Christmas spirit.

Provisions (or Post Parade)

Don't forget! There are plenty of activities for the whole family after the parade is over. Lots of local shops will be open. Pick up some special treats for Fido at Unleashed! Local restaurants like Lilly's Pizza will be open for a nice, warm meal. The NC Museum of History will have a special event too!

So why should you get up ridiculously early, sit out in the cold for hours, kids in tow, one week before Thanksgiving? Sure. It's difficult to get in the Christmas spirit before you see "It's a Wonderful Life" and devour that tender Thanksgiving turkey.

But this parade has been a part of downtown Raleigh's history for 77 years! It's the largest Christmas parade between Washington DC and Atlanta. And this parade supports and promotes locally-owned, independent businesses of Raleigh. It's about making your hard-earned money go further, giving to our local economy, and helping preserve the unique character of Raleigh. Now that's some serious Christmas spirit. Check out other stores to shop local at here.

Also check out our post on facts about the parade. here. And if you have more questions be sure to read our handy FAQs page.

The Raleigh Christmas Parade is brought to you by LeithCars.com.



And is sponsored in part by WakeMed.


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community-eventsRaleigh Christmas Parade
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