Christmas Parade & Festival

Annual Christmas Parade

The parade takes place mid December. It begins on Lancaster's Historic Town Square traveling North on Dallas Avenue concluding at the Lancaster Recreation Center.

The parade entry fee is donation of a new unwrapped toy or at least 4 non-perishable food items that will be collected at the mandatory parade meeting. Parade spectators are encouraged to line the route with their lawn chairs to watch the procession as educational, social, civic and business organizations as well as residents all join together to celebrate the holidays.

Christmas Festival

Immediately following the parade, join us at the Lancaster Recreation Center where we will name the parade winners, recognize our Hometown Hero, tree lighting ceremony and kick off this year’s Christmas Festival. There will be games, hayride, pictures with Santa, puppet shows, live performances, and more!

Parade Entry Fee

The entry fee is a donation of a new unwrapped toy or at least 4 non-perishable food items to be brought to the parade line-up during check in. All donations will benefit The Society of St. Vincent De Paul Community Outreach Center. ​

Parade Rules & Guidelines

  • ​All entries are required to attend a mandatory parade meeting usually held the Thursday before the parade.
  • Entry will be from 2:45 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. at northbound on Centre and Main St. towards Towne Square. Prior to the parade, you will be provided a designated time to arrive and location for your entry. All individuals and vehicles associated with your entry must check in together.
  • The parade will begin promptly at 4:30 p.m.
  • Once the parade has begun, please do not stop until the conclusion of the parade.
  • Judging will take place along the parade route and awards will be presented at the end of the parade in the Lancaster Recreation Center at 6 p.m.
  • One banner preceding your entry is allowed; there is no size limit. There is no limit to the number of banners that can be attached to the entry.
  • Entries may be sponsored by a for-profit business; however, the entry may not be used primarily for advertising purposes and must be in keeping with the spirit of the parade and theme.
  • Children under 13 years of age must be adequately supervised from the parade lineup to completion.
  • All motorized equipment must be clean and in good working condition. All vehicles must maintain a safe distance of at least 20 ft. between units.
  • Use live music when possible. No amplified music is permitted (small portable sound systems are allowed).
  • Pursuant to the City ordinance # 2004-06-18, and for the safety of the spectators, throwing candy is prohibited. Those wishing to distribute candy must walk along-side parade route.
  • All participants must dress appropriately. Shoes and shirts are required. No clothing that makes mention of or reference to any obscenities, sexually explicit material and/or drugs. Appropriateness is at the discretion of staff.
  • Please refrain from the inclusion of live Santa costumes, as this can confuse child spectators.
  • All parade entries must submit a parade application the Community Relations Division by 3pm on the Friday, before the parade.

Parking for Parade​

Participants ​Due to limited parking at the Town Square area, we are asking participants, large groups and parents dropping off to utilize parking at the Beverly D. Humphrey Tiger Stadium. A shuttle will be transporting participants to the parade line up site. ​​ The parade route will begin at Centre Street and Main Street and end at Veterans Memorial Parkway where the Lancaster Recreation Center will be hosting holiday activities for your enjoyment.


Judging will take place along the parade route and awards will be presented at the Lancaster Recreation Center at 6 p.m. Award Categories:

  • Best Use of Theme Entry
  • Best Business Entry
  • Best Organization Entry
  • Best Performance Group