Holiday Parade and Fun Fest

Kick off the holiday season at the Durham Holiday Parade and Fun Fest!

NEA Jazz Master, renowned Grammy Award®‐winning saxophonist and Tony Award® nominee composer Branford Marsalis along with City of Durham Mayor Steve Schewel will kick-off the parade as they lead dynamic floats, hometown bands, drill teams, schools, and community groups down Main Street. The procession will conclude with a guest appearance from Santa.

CBS 17 News’ Chief Meteorologist Wes Hohenstein and Reporter Derrick Lewis will introduce the approximately 100 units to include 6 bands and 10 floats to the thousands of participants scheduled to attend.  The parade will be live streamed at

At the Fun Fest, enjoy snow sledding, inflatable bounce houses, arts and crafts activities, visits with Santa, train rides, music, and more.

Parade Marshals Branford Marsalis and Steve Schewel
Hometown Band at Holiday Parade

Holiday Parade

Saturday, December 8, 2018
10 a.m.
Downtown Durham - Main Street

Free Event
Rain or Shine

  • Floats
  • Bands
  • Mascots

Seating will not be provided. Spectators are encouraged to bring their own chairs and blankets.

Holiday Parade Unit Assignments
Please note: The parade order is subject to change.

Parade Route & Maps

The parade will start at the Health Department (Main and Dillard Streets) and end near Duke University East Campus (Main Street and Buchanan Boulevard). Click here for the Holiday Parade map.

Parade Performance Areas

Designated performance areas will be located near the following intersections: Mangum and Main streets, Chapel Hill and Main streets, and Duke and Main streets.

Parade Restrooms

Temporary restroom stations will be located near the following intersections: S. Elizabeth/Commerce and Main streets, Chapel Hill and Main streets, and Duke and Main streets

Parade Parking

Locations Cost
Chapel Hill Street Garage $5
Corcoran Street Garage $5
Church Street Garage $5
Durham Centre City Garage $5
Durham County Justice Center $2 for first hour / $1 each additional hour

Please note: There will be no parking on Main Street on December 8 beginning at 6 a.m. Parking violators will be towed. The street will close to vehicular traffic at 7 a.m. All roads will reopen no later than 2 p.m.

Parade Participants

We are now accepting applications for participants in the 2018 Holiday Parade! Click on the appropriate category below to register online.

  • General Unit Entry (Walking, Car, Motorcycle, Horse, etc.): This is for units promoting a non-profit, organization, business or social group.
    • City Resident $75 | Non-City Resident $95
  • Marching Band: Any organized marching group that plays instruments for entertainment purposes.
    • Free
  • Float Rental: Sold Out!

Click here for the Holiday Parade Staging map.

Application Deadline: Applications will be accepted on a first come, first serve basis until all spaces are filled or until November 30.

If you have never participated in an event or program with DPR you will need to create an account. After creating an account and / or logging in you will need to answer all of the required questions and pay the fee. If you prefer to pay in person, you can select pay later. Please note, your space will not be secured until your payment has been processed. If you prefer to apply in person, please visit the DPR Administration Office located at 400 Cleveland Street or any DPR Recreation Center during normal business hours. We are no longer accepting applications by mail.

Rain Procedure: Please be prepared in the case of rain, snow, or other inclement weather. In the case of a weather event, the festival coordinator will consider and determine suspension or cancellation of any part or the entire event. You should not leave the parade area before the festival coordinator announces suspension or cancellation of the event. If you choose to leave before an official suspension or cancellation is made by the festival coordinator, no refund of event fees will be returned to the organization. 

Refunds: No deposit and rental fees will be refunded for cancellations less than 30 calendar days prior to the proposed date of the event. Exceptions include when the cancellation is a result of an act of nature or the event is cancelled by DPR due to unforeseen circumstances. Please allow two to four weeks for processing. All refunds will be mailed to the individual, business, or organization's address on the application.

Parade Volunteer Information

Interested in volunteering? Visit our ivolunteer site to sign up. Volunteers will receive a shirt and snacks!

Photos from the 2017 Holiday Parade are available on our Facebook Page.  

For information about the parade, email Rukea Womack

Fun Fest

Saturday, December 8, 2018
1 p.m. - 4 p.m.
Blackwell Street between Morehead Avenue and West Lakewood Avenue

Free Event
Rain or Shine

Click here for the Holiday Fun Fest map.

Fun Fest Activities

  • Peppermint Plunge – Snow sledding for children and adults (sleds will be provided, please do not bring a sled) + two snow play areas
  • North Pole – Santa Claus Meet & Greet
  • Frosty Family Fun
  • Community Care Corner – Decorate holiday cards for homebound individuals in our community
  • Vendors – Local businesses will be giving out information as well as selling arts & crafts, etc.

Fun Fest Volunteers

Interested in volunteering? Visit our ivolunteer site to sign up. Volunteers will receive a shirt and snacks!

Fun Fest Food Vendor Information

All food vendor spots are full for this year's Holiday Fun Fest!

Fun Fest Non-Food Vendor Information

All non-food vendor spots are full for this year's Holiday Fun Fest!

Fun Fest Event Sponsorship

Sponsorship opportunities are available. For information contact Cynthia Booth

Photos from the 2017 Fun Fest can be found on our Facebook Page.

For information about the Fun Fest, email Kristin Perez.

Thank you to our 2018 sponsor!

CBS 17 News_website
Holiday Fun Fest Sponsor Logos NEW COPY