Are you ready for the holiday season? Because we are! Whether you're in downtown Raleigh or watching on your couch, the 75th Raleigh Christmas Parade is the place to be on Saturday, November 23. The weekend before Thanksgiving, it's the biggest party of the year to kick off the holiday shopping season.
The ABC11/LeithCars.com Raleigh Christmas Parade, presented by Shop Local Raleigh, is the largest between Washington, DC and Atlanta. This year will be the biggest and best yet! Local favorites and special guests like Miss America, ABC News anchor T.J. Holmes, Clay Aiken and Santa himself will all be gathered on Fayetteville Street to help ring in the season. It's the big 75th, so it's going to be huge on ABC11!
9 a.m. - Live TV coverage starts on ABC11:
Raleigh Diamond Fine Jewelry 75th Parade Celebration - Hosted by Clay Aiken and Amber Rupinta
9:30 a.m. - Parade Starts:
The ABC11/LeithCars.com Raleigh Christmas Parade, presented by Shop Local Raleigh - Hosted by John Clark, Barbara Gibbs, and Don Schwenneker with exclusive live performances, special guests like Miss America and ABC News anchor T.J. Holmes and the chance to win DIAMONDS and a trip to the Oscars Red Carpet in L.A. in February.
Where should you park? When should you get there? Check out the Raleigh Christmas Parade FAQs.
FIFA World Cup Champion Jessica McDonald will be this year's Grand Marshal. McDonald is the only mother on the cup-winning U.S. women's national team, and one of seven mothers in the National Women's Soccer League, where she plays for the North Carolina Courage.
Drop off your letters to Santa and get an Elfie Selfie at the Christmas Village in Exchange Plaza between Fayetteville and Wilmington streets.
6 p.m. - Downtown Raleigh Tree Lighting Ceremony:
Join ABC11 as we light the big Christmas Tree in Lichtin Plaza in front of the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts. Watch live on ABC11 at 7:00 p.m. or live streaming on ABC11.com. There will be live music and family fun. The ceremony will end at 8 p.m.
Watch and Win
You could win a trip to the Oscars Red Carpet, a Diamond Halo necklace or one of five $1,000 gift certificates to Raleigh Diamond Fine Jewelry! Watch the ABC11/LeithCars.com Raleigh Christmas Parade presented by Shop Local Raleigh on ABC11 and right here on ABC11.com on Nov. 23. Look out for the secret word and use that for your chance to win.
Kick-off to the Food Drive
ABC11 Together and our partners at Food Lion and US Foods are coming together to feed the hungry. The goal for this year's ABC11 Together Food Drive is to donate $1.3 million meals. Starting on Nov. 23, you can purchase and donate a $5 Holidays Without Hunger food box or non-perishables at your local Food Lion. You can drop off donations on our Drive-Thru day -- Dec. 11.
Can't go? Here's how you can watch from home.