After decades of history, Raleigh Christmas Parade participants prepared for the virtual version

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- There's been 75 Raleigh Christmas Parades through the years, and Jeffrey Richardson has marched in 42 of them.

"This will be the first time in 43 years that I have not been a part of the Raleigh Christmas parade," said Richardson who marched in his first parade down Hillsborough to Fayetteville Streets in 1978. He spent decades directing the band at Broughton High where marching in the Christmas Parade was always one of the school year's big thrills.

In the eight years since Richardson retired, he's been parading as a member of the acting troupe with Theater in the Park's A Christmas Carol.

"It's been a huge tradition to know where you're gonna be every Saturday before Thanksgiving," Richardson said. "And this year is just gonna be a little unusual."



Watch the ABC11/LeithCars.com Raleigh Christmas Parade to win


The pandemic means there's no need, this year, to stake your claim to a good viewing spot on Hillsborough or Fayetteville streets at 4 or 5 .am. The best seats are in your living room. Our ABC11 LeithCars.com Raleigh Christmas Parade Celebration is completely virtual...

Stars like Meghan Trainor, American Idol's Franklin Boone and Disney Music Group's D-Capella will join all of our local talent for the TV-only extravaganza. And while parade veterans like Richardson will watch from home in 2020 he says he's eager to see what surprises the show has in store.

"I'm looking forward to seeing what's gonna come across the screen tomorrow morning at 10 a.m.," he said.
Copyright © 2020 WTVD-TV. All Rights Reserved.