One of Harrisburg's great traditions returns Saturday, November 18 with nearly 100 entrants participating in the holiday parade, starting at 10am, airing live on WHBG-TV 20.


Contact: Matt Maisel, Director of Communications
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HARRISBURG — Families throughout Harrisburg and beyond will be “Rockin’ Around The Burg” as the 2023 Cargill Harrisburg Holiday Parade returns Saturday.

The annual parade begins at 10 a.m. With nearly 100 entrants, it is expected to be one of the largest holiday parades in city history. Among the participants include five high school marching bands, four giant parade balloons, and a number of musical acts, classic cars, and of course, Santa Claus.

“Over the years, traditions change, and people come and go, but the one thing that is certain is the Harrisburg Holiday Parade will march down 2nd Street, rain or shine, on the third weekend of November,” said Mayor Wanda R.D. Williams. “The holidays are about family; spending time with loved ones, and reminding each other of the love we have for one another. This weekend, we are going to celebrate the start of another beautiful holiday season.”

The parade follows the traditional route, starting on City Island going across the Market Street Bridge, turning left on 2nd Street, stopping twice in front of the Martin Luther King Jr. City Government Center and at State Street for performances, before turning left onto North Street, left on Front Street, and ending back at the bridge.

This year, 12 dance teams will perform along with marching bands from Harrisburg, Central Dauphin East, Susquenita, Shippensburg, and Millersburg High Schools. Additionally, prizes will be awarded for the top three bands, top three dance teams, and the parade entry which best matches the theme of “Rockin’ Around The Burg.”

Marching bands will be judged based on their quality of music, visual quality of their formation, and overall presentation. First place will receive $500, second place $300, and third place $200.

Dance teams will receive $150, $100, and $50 in order from 1st to 3rd place, being judged on difficulty, execution, technique, choreography, and creativity.

All parade entrants are eligible to enter “Best In Theme” for a chance to win a $100 Amazon gift card. Winners will be announced following the parade at Strawberry Square, where everyone is invited to enjoy free hot cocoa and cookies, and visit with Santa Claus.

There will be numerous singers performing holiday tunes as they stroll by. As with any parade, kids will surely enjoy the giant balloons, and this year, they can see Elmo, Where’s Waldo, a snowman, and a clownfish.

“Events like these are not possible without the help of our sponsors and participants, and a big thanks goes out to Cargill, Visit Hershey & Harrisburg, Explore HBG, UPMC, Capital Blue Cross, and Belco Credit Union,” Mayor Williams said. “This also wouldn’t be possible without the unbelievable work by our Parks & Recreation and Facilities teams. They have my total gratitude.”

Parking is available to the public for four free hours, courtesy Park Harrisburg, by downloading the Park Mobile app and using the code LUVHBG. The Market Square Garage is also open from 8a-8p with $10 special event parking. Additionally, there is a bus depot at the corner of Market and 2nd Streets, directly next to the parade route.

The Market Street Bridge will close beginning at 7 a.m. on Saturday, as will 2nd Street and Front Street from Market to Forster Streets.

WHBG-TV 20 will broadcast the parade live to Comcast subscribers in Harrisburg and the immediate surrounding area.