Downtown Sarasota Holiday Parade to be held on Dec. 3

Event to begin at 7 p.m. at intersection of Main Street and U.S. 301

“From twinkly palm trees” to colorful, decorated businesses, “Sarasota shines during the holidays,” creating what organizers say will be “the perfect backdrop to the 26th Annual Downtown Sarasota Holiday Parade.”

The parade will start at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 3, a news release announces. Participants “will witness the streets of Sarasota go from sunny to snowy,” the release points out. “Snow is the star of this year’s Winter Wonderland theme, which will feature snowmen, marching bands and more,” the release adds. Attendance is free.

“The theme of the parade changes yearly, which gives it an updated and fresh appeal each holiday season,” said parade director Danny Bilyeu in the release. “The highlight of the parade is the arrival of Santa Claus, which keeps the spirit of the season for children of all ages,” he added in the release.

“Each year, more than 30,000 people come out to see the parade,” which typically has about 4,000 participants, including lighted floats and high school marching bands, the release notes.

The parade will begin at the intersection f Main Street and U.S. 301 in downtown Sarasota. It will end at Chaplain J.D. Hamel Park, which stands at the intersection of Main Street and Gulfstream Avenue, the release says.

“Parades offer an opportunity for families and friends to gather and celebrate the season, while giving communities a chance to show off the good things they each have to offer,” Bilyeu pointed out in the release. “Floats, marching bands, dancing schools, homecoming queens and members of local service organizations will be joined by vehicles representing police and fire departments and other first responders,” he added.

The masters of ceremony will be Veronica Brandon Miller and Jeffery Kin, the release notes.

Among the participants will be representatives of The Pickleball Club of Sarasota/Lakewood Ranch and Florida Studio Theatre, plus the Booker High School Band and students of Incarnation Catholic School, the release says.