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What: 39th Lakeland Christmas Parade

When: 7 p.m. Thursday, beginning with fireworks over Lake Mirror

Where: RP Funding Center and back via Lake Mirror (see the map above)

Who: 110 floats, marching bands and an expected 30,000+ spectators. Grand marshal: Martha Brown, a sixth-grader from Lake Gibson Middle School chosen via an essay contest. Sponsor: Junior League of Greater Lakeland

Theme: Joy of Giving

Watch It Live: lakelandgov.net/TV, Facebook Live, Spectrum 643, FiOS 43, or Comcast Channel 5 (PGTV).

Chairs: Spectators are asked to refrain from placing chairs until the evening before the parade. In addition, the city is asking spectators to keep sidewalks clear for wheelchairs, walkers and scooters. 

Accessibility: Wheelchair-accessible viewing areas are on both sides of Main Street near the Lakeland Fire Department HQ.

Streets/parking:  Streets along the parade route will begin closing at 4 p.m. Public parking is available on open, non-parade-route streets, in public lots and parking garages (map). Accessible parking will be available in the Rose Street parking lot for vehicles with a disabled parking permit.

Toilets: Portajons are marked in blue on the map.

Food vendor locations:

  • Munn Park (southeast corner)
  • Parking Lot M at Massachussetts and Cedar
  •  Future dog park just east of the Joinery building
  •  Small pavers area near Lakeland Fire Department
  •  Lake Mirror Center Parking Lot
  • Brick-and-mortar downtown restaurants

Review last year’s parade:  Video – full parade with narration

Bike valet: Available in Munn Park 1-9 p.m. Bicycles will not be able to cross the parade route after 6 p.m.

Security: LPD typically has 150 officers on duty at the parade.

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Barry Friedman founded Lkldnow.com in 2015 as the culmination of a career in print and digital journalism. Since 1982, he has used the tools of reporting, editing and content curation to help people in Lakeland understand their community better.

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