They’re not just for warm weather! If you love the sights and sounds of marching bands, fun floats, dancing in the streets, big balloons, and more, be sure to catch one of these upcoming holiday parades in November and December! All these holiday parades are free community events that take place in our area every year.
2018 Holiday Parades in Northern Virginia
Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018: Annual Greater Manassas Christmas Parade
The Greater Manassas community celebrates the season with a big parade that kicks off at 10 am. This is the 73rd year for the parade, which takes place rain or shine!
Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018: Alexandria Scottish Christmas Walk
The annual Scottish Christmas Walk in Alexandria is a one-of-a-kind event. Presented by the Campagna Center, the parade features marching units filled with the magnificent tartans of Scottish Clans, the stirring sound of Scottish bagpipes and drums, Scottish dancers, reenactment groups, Scottie dogs, dignitaries, classic cars, Santa Claus, and more. The rain-or-shine event, 11 am to 1 pm, ends with a concert.
Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018: Clifton Horse Parade
The annual Horse Society Holiday Procession through the Town of Clifton kicks off the holiday season with beautiful horses in festive style parade through the town to Lustre’s Field for the costume judging and to share refreshments with the town folks who come see them. The fun begins at noon and Santa will be there!
Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018: Holiday Boat Parade of Lights in Alexandria and the DC Wharf
Alexandria, VA, and Washington, DC
Each year, Alexandria’s harbor and National Harbor in Washington, DC, light up as dozens of illuminated boats cruise the Potomac River at the historic waterfront. The parade itself begins at 5:30 pm on the Alexandria side; you also can watch it from the National Wharf in DC where there will be other fun activities.
Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018: McLean Winterfest
McLean’s only community parade takes place each December to celebrate the holidays and welcome winter in style. The parade starts in the afternoon (at 3:30 pm sharp) and the route is down Old Chain Bridge Road from Fleetwood Road to Elm Street. WinterFest also presents a check to Share of McLean, and spectators are invited to bring grocery, pharmacy, or clothing store gift cards to the parade that Share volunteers will collect to give to those in need.
Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018: Occoquan WinterFest
Occoquan and Lorton areas, VA
Enjoy a full day of fun in Occoquan, Woodbridge, Lake Ridge, and Lorton with WinterFest. The event kicks off with the Lake Ridge Santa’s parade, 11 am to noon. Then from 4 pm to 7 pm in the historic district, enjoy holiday carolers and musician, visits with Santa, a Mill House Museum children’s craft activity, a touch-a-truck event, shopping, and dining.
Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018: Town of Dumfries Christmas Parade and Tree Lighting
The Town of Dumfries hosts its annual Christmas Holiday Parade at noon, departing from Town Hall. There will be music, food trucks, face painting etc. starting at 11 am. Afterward, stay for the tree lighting ceremony in front of Town Hall!
Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018: Leesburg Christmas and Holiday Parade
The holiday spirit will be in full swing as Leesburg hosts its annual holiday parade starting at 6 pm. The parade will usher Santa and his friends down King Street, through Historic Leesburg. The parade will begin at Ida Lee Drive and end at Fairfax Street.
Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018: Manassas Park Light Parade
Manassas Park, VA
A unique event is the annual City of Manassas Park Light Parade, an evening parade of cars illuminated and decorated for the holidays. The annual parade begins at 5:45 pm and Santa (and the parade cars) will be there no matter what the weather
Saturday, Dec. 15, 2018: Purcellville Christmas Parade and Holiday Festivities
The Town of Purcellville’s annual Christmas parade, which starts at noon, highlights local organizations, clubs, teams, and businesses, with a special appearance by Old Saint Nick himself! The event is part of a daylong celebration with an open house at Town Hall (10 am to 3 pm) with face painting, crafts, and a huge LEGO display, ornament decorating at the Purcellville Train Station, and photos with Santa.
Friday, Nov. 23, 2018: Reston Town Center Thanksgiving Parade
Now in its 26h year, Reston’s Holiday Parade, the day after Thanksgiving, is a big and festive event featuring Macy’s-style giant balloons, antique cars, musicians and marching bands, dancers, and community groups marching through the Reston Town Center. The parade is part of a fun day that includes the Gingerbread Man Mile run for kids, horse-drawn carriage rides, and at night, a visit by Santa and Mrs. Claus, who later light the Christmas tree and lead the community in a sing-along.
Friday, Nov. 30, 2018: Warrenton Christmas Parade
The Town of Warrenton hosts a full night of fun with a Christmas parade at 5 pm followed by the lighting of the big Christmas tree at 6 pm, and then a fireworks show. Bring a new, unwrapped toy for Toys for Tots!