What: 38th 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: 120 floats, marching bands and an expected 30,000+ spectators. Grand marshal: Laney Kirkpatrick, a 10-year-old fifth grader chosen via an essay contest. Sponsor: Junior League of Greater Lakeland
Theme: A Storybook Christmas
Watch It Live: lakelandgov.net/TV or on Spectrum 643/FiOS 43.
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. On Thursday, the city posted a notice on Facebook that chairs blocking sidewalks, crosswalks or disabled parking will be removed or relocated.
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 green on the map.
- Munn Park (southeast corner): Becky’s Hot Dogs
- Parking Lot M at Massachussetts and Cedar: Heritage Baptist Church, The Chick’s Coop, Kona Ice of Lakeland
- Future dog park just east of Lakeland Brewery building: AB Concessions, Tony’s Italian Ice, PJ’s BBQ
- Small pavers area near Lakeland Fire Department: Nuts R Us, Heritage Baptist Church
- Lake Mirror Center Parking Lot: Fred’s Roadside Cafe
Review last year’s parade: Video – full parade with narration
Security: LPD typically has 150 officers on duty at the parade.