Grand Illumination Parade, Sat. November 23, 2013 7 p.m. Downtown Norfolk


Light Rail

  • Regular weekend rail service will operate until 4:00 p.m., at which time service will increase from 15-minute to 10-minute frequencies.
  • To ease movement out of the city, all nine trains will be used after the parade is over. To ease platform congestion, every other train will arrive in the Central Business District empty and will accept passengers east bound only starting at EVMC/Ft. Norfolk.
  • And check out the Holiday Express, which represents a partnership among HRT, ForKids, WVEC-13 and BOB-FM to collect food for those less fortunate.
  • Buy your Tide ticket online now!

Ferry Service

  • Two ferries will operate between High Street and Waterside beginning at 5:00 p.m. with departures every 15 minutes.
  • One ferry will operate between North Landing and Waterside with departures every 30 minutes.
  • No ferries will operate between North Landing and High Street until after the parade.


Routes 6, 8 , 45, 17 and MAX 960 serve downtown. Because of the parade route, they will discharge at St. Paul’s Boulevard and Charlotte Street.

Before the parade:  Starting at 4 p.m., four MAX-style buses will be staged at the Newtown Road Light Rail Station for moves into the city.  One MAX bus will be staged at Ballentine Blvd. Station for inbound moves starting at 4 p.m.  This will ease loads on the trains and waiting lines.

After the parade:  Six buses will be staged at City Hall Avenue near the MacArthur Square light rail station, and four on Monticello Avenue between Charlotte Street and Freemason Avenue to ease loads on the trains.

Bus movement will coordinate with the City of Norfolk to minimize traffic impacts. Bus route outbound will be from Brambleton to Monticello to City Hall to Interstate 264 back  to the Newtown Road light rail station.

Ticket Sales – Look for the tents!

Customer Service representatives will sell commemorative tickets for light rail and ferry for $3 each from 3:30 – 8 p.m. at five locations:

  • Newtown Road light rail station
  • Military Highway light rail station
  • EVMC/ Fort Norfolk light rail station

Tickets will be sold at the following Elizabeth River ferry locations  in Portsmouth:

  • North Landing ferry dock
  • High Street ferry dock

All purchases are cash only. The $3.00 ticket is honored on light rail and ferry only, not on the bus. Ticket sales locations will be set up 30 minutes prior to the start of sales.

Ticket Vending Machines at Newtown Rd. station and High St. ferry dock!

There are four ticket vending machines (TVM) at the Newtown Road light rail station and one new TVM at the High Street ferry to ease your ticket-buying experience. They take cash, credit and debit cards.

Special Commemorative Ticket

A unique commemorative ticket will be available where round trip tickets are sold at the Newtown Road, Military Highway, and EVMC/Ft. Norfolk rail stations and the North Landing & High Street ferry docks.

Customers can only purchase special tickets from customer service representatives. Commemorative tickets will be the size of a business card and will NOT need validation at the TVMs.

The commemorative tickets are only good for Saturday, 11/23/2013. 


Parking fills up fast. Plan ahead.

As always, free parking is available at all light rail park and ride lots. They are located at Newtown Road, Military Highway,  Ballentine Boulevard and Harbor Park stations. Be advised, the Harbor Park area is a staging ground for the parade and will be congested. Avoid that area. In addition to parking Ballentine, Norfolk State University has made available the lot next to the football practice field for free parking.

At Newtown Road, there will be additional parking at the overflow lot off Blackstone Street, south of the main lot. There will also be parking at First Baptist Church.

There is additional free parking at the lot directly behind the EVMC/Ft. Norfolk light rail station and the lot across Colley Avenue. Both lots will be marked.

The public also will have access to the Portsmouth parking garage next to Harbor Towers on Crawford Street.  The garage will open on Saturday for Grand Illumination, free of charge.  Parking is ONLY in spaces that are NOT apartment parking OR spaces marked “24 HR Reserved.”  Cars parked in these spots will be towed. Read the signs before you park.