Sarasota kicks off holiday season with parade Saturday

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2022 Downtown Sarasota Holiday Parade Kicks Off the Season
2022 Downtown Sarasota Holiday Parade Kicks Off the Season(WWSB)
Published: Dec. 2, 2022 at 3:36 PM EST
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SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - It’s the most wonderful time of the year and the season is kicking off in Sarasota with the 26th Annual Downtown Sarasota Holiday Parade.

The parade will start at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 3, and participants will witness the streets of Sarasota go from sunny to snowy. Snow is the star of this year’s “Winter Wonderland” theme, which will feature snowmen, marching bands and more.

Attendance is free.

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

Each year, more than 30,000 people come out to see the parade, with 4,000 participants including lighted floats, high school marching bands.

The parade will begin at Main Street and U.S. 301 in downtown Sarasota. The parade will end at J.D. Hamel Park at Main Street and Gulfstream Avenue.

“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. 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,” said Bilyeu

The parade master of ceremonies will be Veronica Brandon Miller and Jeffery Kin.

Participants include community leaders from The Pickleball Club of Sarasota/Lakewood Ranch to the Florida Studio Theatre, as well as schools like Booker High School Band to Incarnation Catholic School, as well of dozen other groups.

Parade sponsors include: The City of Sarasota, Your Observer Media Group, Sarasota Ford, Gold Coast Eagle and the Warren Middleton State Farm Insurance.