Holiday Parade

Natalee Urbasek

Picture this downtown Joliet on a crisp, chilly Friday night. The crowd has begun to build in anticipation of the holiday parade. The festivities start at 10 am with a holiday shopping market, an ice skating rink, ice carving, inflatable snow globe as well as other things. For the first time, there were horse-drawn carriage rides. Many people come early to participate in these activities, while others wait to watch the tree lighting followed by the holiday parade. 

We learned that this is the 24th anniversary of when the parade started. It features many local bands from junior high and high schools, including our own Joliet Central High School. Many downtown businesses are open to the public for free and will have activities for kids as well as opportunities for photo sessions. Last year in 2021, there were a total of 75 floats including different companies in Joliet. Every year these floats are decorated with streamers, light, music, and sometimes inflatables. Along these floats will be people who volunteer at the company or who work there and will pass out candy to the children who stand against the gate blocking them from the street. The police and fire department will begin the parade with sirens and lights flashing, some will even pass out plastic fire hats for the younger children. 

If people are lucky enough then they might make their way to Joliet’s Channel 6 news station where they might be on TV. As someone who has lived in Joliet their entire life, it is always a pleasure to see the lights and beautiful trees when they light them.