APPLETON, Wis. (WFRV) — Appleton is gearing up for its 49th Annual Downtown Christmas Parade – the Midwest’s largest nighttime Christmas parade. Here are some things you need to know before you go – or watch it live on WFRV Local 5!
The parade will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 26 starting at 7 p.m. If you are unable to attend it in person, Local 5 will televise the entire parade live.
The parade begins at State Street and College Avenue in downtown Appleton and travels east on College to Drew Street. It follows the Santa Scamper, which starts at 6:40 p.m.
This year’s theme is “That Holiday Feeling!” About 80,000 spectators viewed last year’s parade.
Longtime Parade Committee members Greg Otis and Harvey Samson will be the 2019 Christmas Parade Marshals.
After 33 years as the Appleton Parade Committee Chairman, Otis retired after last year’s Christmas Parade. During his time, Otis has been part of over 200 parades in Appleton, including Memorial Day, Flag Day Parades, and even several parades in cities outside Appleton.
Samson recently stepped down from his role as assistant chairman of the Parade Committee, a position he held for the last 38 of his 41 years serving on the committee. He also served on the Flag Day Parade Committee for 37 years.
Samson is a local attorney and has been a member of the City’s Police and Fire Commission since 1983. He is a former member of the Board of Directors of the Appleton Senior Center and a founding board member of Appleton Downtown, Inc. He still volunteers for ADI along with Boy Scout Troop 8, the Appleton Boy Choir and Appleton North High School Band.
Thrivent Federal Credit Union will lead its sixth annual Cans Hunger food drive will take place during the parade. “Thrivent Cans Hunger” was developed to provide three meals a day to every man, woman, and child in the Fox Valley. Donations of canned goods – no paper, glass, or cardboard packages – can be handed to Thrivent Federal Credit Union Cans Hunger group as they roll down College Avenue just before the kick-off of the parade.
All donations collected during the parade will be distributed between area food pantries.