THE MAGIC IS BACK! After a two-year hiatus, the 36th Annual Grand Illumination Parade will return to kick off the holiday season on November 19 at 7pm in Downtown Norfolk.
To celebrate the return of this beloved family and community tradition, the theme of this year’s parade will be “Holiday Magic.”
The Grand Illumination Parade takes place every year on the Saturday before Thanksgiving, bringing thousands of spectators out to the streets of Downtown Norfolk to take in the beauty, magic, and electric holiday spirit to kick off the season.
We recommend staking out your parade viewing spot early, as Downtown Norfolk will be packed! But we won't leave you hanging: while you're waiting for the parade to step off, there is plenty of entertainment staged along the parade route, including singers, dancers, and costumed characters.
VENDORS AND DINING
All this parade excitement certainly works up an appetite, and you're in luck: Downtown Norfolk has so many top-notch restaurants to visit before, during, or after the parade. There will also be some vendors along the parade route to satisfy every parade-day craving!
GLITZ AND GLAMOUR
Our parade participants are really bring their A-game, and you are sure to be wowed by the beauty and spectacle of the Grand Illumination. If you aren't here, you'll wish you had been.
Who doesn't love a good marching band? Some say the highlight of any parade, the Grand Illumination Parade has some of the best from both in and out of the area. Previous Best Marching Band Award recipient, NSU, returns this year. Will they take home the prize again this time?
Our brilliantly illuminated and detailed floats will make your jaw drop. All floats are designed to go with the parade's theme, and we expect that by the end of the parade, you will believe in holiday magic!
These towering characters are guaranteed to put a smile on your face as they make their way down the parade route.
Get ready for an energy boost from some of our amazing walking units, including dressed-up dogs, dancers, and more!
Fire engines decked out in holiday lights, VW bugs zipping along the parade route, and even the cheeriest waste management vehicle you've ever seen, the parade has plenty of fun motorized units to entertain you.
THE BIG MAN HIMSELF
That's right -- the parade is anchored by a very special appearance from everybody's favorite North Pole resident!