The Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce’s annual Christmas Parade will be held this year, but with a twist. This year’s offering will be a “reverse” parade, a press release said.
The event will be held on Saturday, December 12, from 6-8 p.m. The theme of this year’s “reverse” parade is “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas.” More than 40 individuals and organizations have signed up to display along the parade route, the press release said.
A “reverse” parade is a parade where the floats are stationary and spectators drive the parade route, the press release said. The night of the parade, floats will line the northbound lanes of Lafayette Drive (heading toward Oak Ridge Turnpike) and spectators will drive down the southbound lanes (heading toward Illinois Avenue) to enjoy the festivities from the safety and comfort of their own cars.
The decision to move to a “reverse” parade was made in consultation with Chamber staff and leaders from the City of Oak Ridge because of COVID-19 concerns, the press release said.
To view the parade, spectators will enter Lafayette Drive from the eastbound lane of the Oak Ridge Turnpike. The parade entries will be lining the other side of Lafayette beginning at the Emory Valley Road intersection and ending at the Midway Road intersection. A goodie bag will be given to the first 1,000 cars. Cars may begin driving the route at 6 p.m., and the last cars will be admitted at 8 p.m.
The northbound lanes of Lafayette Drive will be closed to traffic beginning around 3 p.m. The southbound lanes and access roads will be closed to traffic beginning around 5 p.m. Both will remain closed to traffic until the parade ends at 8.
Spectators will be treated to a variety of holiday cheer, including;
- A Christmas tree farm
- A pirate ship (with a working cannon)
- A living Christmas tree
- The Oak Ridge High School Wildband
- A Dickens-era Christmas caroling scene (complete with actual carolers)
- Scenes featuring some of your favorite Christmas movie characters
- And, of course, Santa!
The “reverse” parade is sponsored by the Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce and the City of Oak Ridge.