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63rd Nashville Annual Christmas Parade

This little cupcake Jamie Dawson was outstanding in the 63rd Nashville Annual Parade!

Parade History:

Nashville’s Christmas Parade dates back to Nov. 28, 1927, and it has been a staple of Middle Tennessee’s holiday festivities ever since. Numerous organizations and entertainers have participated in the parade since its inception, spreading holiday cheer to thousands of parade goers each year.

The first parade was originally sponsored by the Associated Retailers of Nashville. By 1930, Nashville’s daily newspapers were sponsoring the parade, along with WLAC Radio. In 1947, Newspaper Printing Corporation took sole sponsorship for the parade and was involved through the 1951 parade. Nashville Gas Company became the sponsor in 1952, and the utility, now known as Piedmont Natural Gas, has continued to be the title sponsor to this day.

Throughout the years, Nashville residents and out-of-town guests have flocked together in big numbers to see the parade. The Tennessean reported that an estimated 400,000 people attended the parade in 1951, the largest attendance on record. Following the war years of 1941-1946 when there wasn’t a parade, many of the parades had in excess of 200,000 spectators between the early 1950s and early 1980s.

During its long history, there have been numerous parade routes. The original parade ended where it started at the Haymarket on South Second Street. In the 1940s and 1950s, the spectators packed Church Street to enjoy the festivities. The parade was held in the afternoon in 1952 after occurring at night for many years. The route was later moved from Church Street to Broadway in 1958, where it is currently held.

Although the parade began in 1927, the first recorded theme was “Christmas Descends on Nashville” in 1947. Themes have varied throughout the years and a full list of the themes can be found here.

In 2015, the parade moved to its present Saturday morning time.

The parade route was also reversed to march down Broadway, then up 2nd Avenue North and across the river before ending at the base of the Woodland Street Bridge. Credit:

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