Winston-Salem Jaycees Holiday Parade Frequently Asked Questions

When is the parade?

The parade traditionally takes place on the first Saturday of December and is followed by the Downtown Tree Lighting. The 2020 parade will be on Saturday, December 5, 2020 at 4:00 pm.

What is a drive-thru parade?

In effect it’s a reverse parade!  Those who would normally be marching in the streets or driving floats down the street will now be parked.  Those who would normally be viewing from the side of the road will now be in their vehicles and driving down the street.  Lineup for vehicles will be at the Truist Stadium parking lot on Broad Street.  The Drive-Thru will start at 4PM.  

Vehicles driving through are encouraged to decorate their vehicles for the holiday!  Festive participation from all is encouraged.  Please refrain from having anything profane or offense on your vehicles.  The Parade Committee does have the right to pull vehicles out of the lineup if they are in violation of the request against profanity or offensive materials.

How long does the parade last?

The parade typically lasts 60-75 minutes, depending on the number of entries.

How do I find out parade information?

This website contains general information. We also post frequent updates on our Facebook page. You can also subscribe to our newsletter. Email recipients are the first to learn when registration opens and to receive other updates.

Will the parade be cancelled or postponed if it rains or snows?

The parade takes place as planned, rain or shine. When attending the parade, be aware of weather forecasts and dress appropriately.

What is the parade route?

If you are planning to drive-thru the parade, please start at Truist Stadium on Broad Street.  Please remain in your vehicles at all times.  Please be cautious of those in front of you.  

The drive-thru parade route starts at Truist Stadium on Broad St.  Vehicles will be steered towards the beginning of the Holiday Parade on Fourth Street and Broad Street.  Vehicles will turn right on Fourth Street to Trade Street. The route turns left onto Trade Street and continues, ending at Trade Street and 8th Street.

To get to the Holiday Movie, vehicles in the Parade will turn left on 8th Street and then right on University Parkway.  Vehicles will continue to the Carolina Classic Fairgrounds to continue in the Holiday Spirit!

More information coming about the Annual Tree Lighting sponsored by the Downtown Winston-Salem Partnership! 

Who can be in the parade?

The parade is a celebration of Winston-Salem community groups and businesses, so anyone can be involved! Elected officials, other dignitaries and high school bands are invited by the parade committee. General registration is open on a first-come, first-served basis until the parade line-up fills or until the announced registration deadline, whichever is first.

Do you allow same-day registration?

Unfortunately, we are unable to accommodate entries that did not register and pay by the deadline. Once the deadline has passed no late entries will be allowed.  Entries that arrive on parade day will not be allowed to participate in the parade.  

What happens if my entry needs to cancel or cannot attend that day, can I get a refund?

If you cancel before the registration deadline, you will receive a refund. If you cancel after the registration deadline or do not show the day of the parade, you will not receive a refund.

Why do you limit the number of parade entries?

Limiting the number of entries ensures a positive experience both for parade participants and for people attending the parade. We are able to anticipate how long the parade lasts, and allow viewers to make it to the Tree Lighting in a reasonable time.

What are the costs for entries?

There are several types of entries for registration.  Please see below as entry types have changed with the new drive-thru format for 2020:

  • Non-Profits are $20   
  • Businesses are $50
  • Businesses along the Parade route are $20
  • Businesses along the Parade route that have a toy collection container from Twin City Santa are Free.
  • All entries will receive a spot for their float or set-up along the route.  Due to COVID-19 we are restricting spots to only have 10 people in a spot.  If you plan to have more than 10 people in a spot you will need to purchase two (2) spots.  

Can my entry or those participating distribute candy, etc.?

Candy, samples or other materials of any kind may NOT be thrown/handed out or otherwise distributed in any way from entries or participants while on the parade route in compliance with City of Winston-Salem ordinance. In order to keep the procession moving smoothly and not block anyone’s view, we do not allow entries to distribute any items of any kind. The one exception is the sponsor of the Santa entry, which has the option of passing out candy or other materials.

Does our entry have to be illuminated?

Since the parade takes place in the early evening, we ask that entries be illuminated.  The parade committee and downtown Winston-Salem cannot guarantee outlets, please see our page under “For Participants” about Float Lighting Tips for ideas on how to light your entry.

Can I request a certain spot in the parade lineup?

We cannot guarantee a specific spot, but if you request an approximate spot we will do our best to accommodate you. Remember this year is a drive-thru parade so spots are not guaranteed as we are considering the best spots for everyone.

Can I include Santa and other Christmas themes in my entry?

We encourage festive holiday themes, decorations and music. However, entries are not allowed to have anyone dressed as Santa and Mrs. Claus. The only Santa and Mrs. Claus appear on the official Santa float at the end of the parade. Elves, reindeer, and other characters are permitted.

Does my entry design need to be approved in advance?

When you register, you are asked to submit a description of your entry, which helps us arrange a varied line-up. However, you do not need to submit designs for approval. We do reserve the right to remove entries that are not appropriate for a family-friendly community event.

Can I bring my payment on the day of the parade?

We request that entries pay in advance online via Paypal or by mailing a check to the Jaycees Office (PO Box 24461, Winston-Salem NC 27114). Parade day is very hectic and we want to ensure that your payment isn’t misplaced. When paying online or by check, please indicate for which entry you are paying.

How can I get extra exposure for my business as a sponsor?

Sponsorships are an excellent opportunity to promote your business before 10,000 parade attendees, on social media and in other parade publicity. Several affordable sponsorship opportunities are available. Not only can you sponsor Santa, and competitions among other things, but there are so many new sponsorships in 2020!  The sponsorship link for 2020 will be available soon! Email [email protected] for more information.

I have a question that isn’t answered here. Whom do I contact?

Questions, comments, or suggestions? Email us at [email protected] or message the committee directly on the “Contact” page.