Baumgartner Vaughan column: Parade season on the march

Nov. 16, 2013 @ 06:23 PM

On the way to work this past week, I flipped through the radio stations and heard a Christmas song. It turns out one station has already gone all-Christmas, all-day. Fine with me! I’ll wait until I’m eating Thanksgiving leftovers before decorating, but bring on the music. Holiday parades are getting ready to roll, too.

Parades foster community and all that warm fuzzy stuff we’re supposed to feel this time of year. It wouldn’t be my column if I didn’t lament the loss of a City of Durham holiday parade. Note the lament. Now, on to parades still marching. The Parkwood Holiday Parade in the southern Durham neighborhood has picked up the slack and brought Durham a larger parade each December. Betty Ertell, Parkwood parade committee chairperson, tells me that the parade will be much larger than last year, which already included marching bands, community groups and the Clauses in a fire truck. The parade will be at 2 p.m. Dec. 8, a nice way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

If you really, really love parades, you could try a feat of festive fa-la-la. I present to you a list of many Triangle holiday parades:

The Raleigh Christmas Parade starts at 9:40 a.m. Saturday in downtown Raleigh. It’s a big one and it lasts for hours. It’s a great parade, though it needs more marching bands. Why it’s called a Christmas parade when it’s always held the Saturday before Thanksgiving, I do not know. I guess to explain Santa’s attendance. Check this first parade off your list before proceeding on to the rest of the festive fa-la-la challenge.

Elsewhere in Wake County, if you really want to make your life a parade, Dec. 7 is a day with four, count ’em, four parade options. The Morrisville Winterfest Parade is at 11 a.m.; Garner Christmas Parade and Knightdale Christmas Parade are both at 2 p.m., then Apex’s Christmas parade is at 5 p.m. The next day is the Fuquay-Varina Christmas Parade at 3 p.m. Dec. 8. On Dec. 14, you can go to the Holly Springs Christmas Parade at 11 a.m., Wake Forest Holiday Parade at 1 p.m. and Christmas parade in Cary at 2 p.m. Earlier in the month is the Zebulon Christmas Parade at 2 p.m. Dec. 1.

Closer to home are more parades: Mebane is first with its Christmas parade at 7 p.m. Dec. 6. Then on Dec. 7 there’s the Hillsborough Holiday Parade at 10 a.m. and the Creedmoor Christmas Parade at 11 a.m. The next day is the Parkwood Holiday Parade at 2 p.m. and the Pittsboro Christmas Parade at 3 p.m. Dec. 8. The Chapel Hill-Carrboro Holiday Parade is at 10 a.m. Dec. 14. The Bahama Christmas Parade in northern Durham County is set for the morning of Dec. 14. I say “the morning” because while the official start time has been 10 a.m., you need to get there early to get a good spot for a well-attended parade that tosses out a lot candy. There are even more holiday parades elsewhere in the Triangle area, and I didn’t even mention the tree lightings.

I plan to attend at least two of the aforementioned parades. If parades are an annual tradition for your family, let me know and I’ll share your memories in a future column. Any excuse to write about parades.

Dawn Baumgartner Vaughan may be reached at or 919-419-6563.