Large crowds attend 70th Annual Raleigh Christmas parade

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- The Capital City kicked off the holiday season Saturday morning as marching bands, floats, and of course, Santa Claus, rolled through downtown for the 70th Annual Raleigh Christmas Parade.

The parade included a wide variety of participants that bring many families back out year after year.

Keeping 115 floats, three helium balloons -- one of them a giant Elvis -- and 22 marching bands in line was no easy task for parade director Jennifer Martin.

"I saw people setting up chairs at 6 a.m. this morning," said Martin, who is also the Executive Director of Shop Local Raleigh.

More than 60,000 people lined the parade route through downtown waving as our ABC11 Eyewitness News Team wished them a merry Christmas.

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And, while it was cold outside, ol' Kris Kringle still had a way of warming everyone's heart.

"People have come to love this parade. There's so much love and pride with it. And it's such a good, feel good community event," Martin said.

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