APPLETON, Wis. (WFRV)-Downtown Appleton was looking extra merry and bright on Tuesday evening.

That’s because it was time for the 51st Downtown Appleton Christmas Parade. The parade attracts around 80,000 spectators and people show up hours before the parade begins to secure their spot.

“Happy, excited and spirity,” said Maizie Haney one of the thousands of spectators at the parade. She’s here with her mom and sisters and arrived several hours before the parade began. She said she passed the time by drawing, sipping hot cocoa, and playing red light green light in the street before taking in the parade with her family.

Her mom Jenna said they haven’t been to the parade for a few years because of COVID-19, but that sh’es happy to be back this year.

“I think that’s part of my favorite thing is seeing how excited the kids get not only mine but everybody, it brings out the best in people,” said Jenna Haney.

“We get to be happy together (watching the parade),” said Maizie.

The parade featured dozens of festively decorated floats, local high school marching bands, holiday characters, and even Santa Clause himself made an appearance.