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There’s no better way to kick off the holiday season than with the annual Raleigh Christmas parade: Each year, festive floats, balloons, performers and, of course, Santa Claus, make their way through downtown Raleigh, delivering Christmas cheer to everyone who’s up early enough to attend. Due to COVID, this year’s Christmas parade is going virtual, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have the same jovial experience as you would have in person. Below, Jennifer Martin, the executive director of parade organizing group Shop Local Raleigh, gives us some tips for merry parade watching at home.
Before the parade starts at 10 a.m., head to Tepuy Donuts, Sola Coffee Cafe, Krispy Kreme or one of Raleigh’s other doughnut shops for a dozen and some hot chocolate or coffee for the whole family. It’s the sweetest way to enjoy the parade!
Tune in to ABC11 or use the ABC11 app to watch the city’s first-ever virtual Christmas parade and Zoom/Facetime with friends or family so you can all watch it together. You could even be on TV—tweet photos of your virtual parade watching experience to @RaleighChristmasParade and use the hashtag #RaleighParade for a chance to be featured and win a prize.
Get decked out in your Christmas jammies, and if you haven’t already, decorate your home for Christmas while you watch the parade. It’s also the perfect time to get started on baking Christmas cookies—because there’s no such thing as too much sugar during the holiday season. After the parade, pick up a Christmas tree from a local farm or stand if you haven’t already and finish putting up Christmas decorations inside and outside your home. Then, head to some of Raleigh’s locally-owned shops and boutiques to get a head start on Christmas shopping.
Cap off the cheery Christmas-filled day with dinner at the Angus Barn. Every year, Angus Barn goes all out with Christmas decorations, including a ginormous Christmas tree front and center in the dining room. It’s a Raleigh tradition to eat there during the holiday season!
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