Our martial arts school is marching AND performing in Asheville’s 70th Annual Holiday Parade this year! To help you make the most of your parade viewing experience, we’ve rounded up the latest information on the festivities:
The Parade and Special Events:
The parade will begin at 11 am and last until about 1 pm. However, many folks begin lining up to watch along the parade route as early as 9 in the morning! This parade is a big deal, y’all, complete with floats, soaring balloons, marching bands, dance troupes and, of course, Ninjas!
After the parade, Santa will sail through the new “Walkable Wall Street,” a family fun event full of local vendors to help you stock up on interesting holiday gifts. Santa will end up at the Grove Arcade just up the way from the Wall Street event and be available from 2-4 pm to take pictures. The Wall Street event runs until 9 pm.
Traffic can be a hassle, but there are also free bus rides downtown from many locations. Taking the bus is an excellent idea. Plan your trip here.
Aside from arriving early, a 2015 Asheville Ciitzen Times’ article offers the following tips:
“• Chairs, blankets and stools are all allowed. Bring them, but pick your spot early because the sidewalks begin to fill at 9 a.m.
• People on floats will probably give candy to your kids. Just so you’re prepared.
• Parade vendors will wander throughout the route selling noise makers and other festive goodies.
Best Spots to Watch
• For the best view of the performances, station your crew near the Vance Monument. That’s where groups pause to perform for a panel of judges. Expect to see gymnasts, dancers, marching bands and a few oddball shows. Keep in mind: This spot is usually pretty crowded.
• For smaller crowds, make your way to the western end of Patton Avenue, near the end of the route. There’s a big plaza by the National Center for Environmental Information, and the crowd is thinner in that area, Rogers said. It’s also a good place to watch if you’re running late since the parade won’t get there until 11:30 at the very earliest.
• If your family needs room to spread out, the area around Asheville Savings Bank offers flat space for kids to play if they get tired of waiting or watching. Pritchard Park, although crowded, is another good place for families, and the funnel cake vendor sets up there. French Broad Food Co-op has two parking lots for watching, and inside, there are plenty of snacks to appease hungry toddlers.”
Be sure to look out for our band of ninjas, IF you can spot them! See you all on November 19th, and Happy Holidays!