The Wilmington Jaycees’ popular Christmas Parade steps off for its 52nd year at 11 a.m. Saturday at Fifth and Market streets with New Castle County among its primary sponsors.
County Executive Tom Gordon and County Council President Chris Bullock will have floats and personally join the family-friendly parade that – following Thanksgiving and “Black Friday” – annually marks the state’s start of the holiday season. “The Jaycees have kept a wonderful community tradition with the parade, enjoyed by generations of Delawareans,” Gordon said.
This is the fourth year the parade has coordinated with Small Business Saturday, he said, adding, “It’s a perfect opportunity to stay in town for lunch, then get a head start on holiday shopping at the many unique small businesses all over Wilmington and New Castle County.”
“Small businesses drive the economy of America, including Delaware,” Bullock said, urging residents to support them throughout the holidays.
Saturday’s parade features elected leaders and celebrities, bands from Salesianum School and Cab Calloway School of the Arts, Mummers from Philadelphia, floats and antique cars, as well as police agencies, fire companies, military units, community groups and performing clubs.
In addition to Blue Rocks mascot Rocky Bluewinkle, spectators will see Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Elmo, Bob the Builder, Dora the Explorer, Sully of Monsters Inc., Buzz Lightyear and Scooby Doo – plus Rudolph and Santa himself. Jaycees urge children to bring Santa their Christmas lists or letters and say all who include their addresses will get return letters.
County parks also will be open from sunrise to sunset throughout the holiday weekend for free family fun. The parks, with a wide variety of settings and features, are detailed at www.nccde.org/Parks. County offices will be closed Thursday and Friday.