Thousands gather for Raleigh Christmas Parade

RALEIGH Thousands of people gathered for the event despite a chilly start to the day.

It's the kind of family-friendly fun that's kept the Kirch Family coming back for years.

"We've been doing this ever since we moved here," said Perry Kirch. "Ten years - there's probably 40 of us this year from Holly Springs."

As part of their yearly tradition, the large group of neighbors made sure they got an early start on the day to snag plenty of front-row seats.

"We went and got donuts first at 5 a.m.," said Angela Kirch. "Got the donuts and the coffee and packed it up, we came down and everybody follOwed and the kids started eating - and then we got all wrapped up and waited for the parade."

As for the Kirch's youngest daughter, Elsa, like many other girls her age - there was one float she couldn't wait to see.

"I'm most excited to see Scotty, 'cause I like his music," she said.

American Idol winner and Garner native Scotty McCreery served as this year's grand marshal - so between him and Santa, the streets in downtown Raleigh were filled with star power.

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