Rules and Regulations

Registration will opened on Thursday, August 1, 2024, at 9:00 AM. Registration is not completed until payment is submitted. A representative from each registration and their driver (if it applies) must come to a mandatory safety on Monday, November 11 at 7:30 PM at the Dorothy Hart Community Center. Rules and route are subject to change prior to that date.

General Rules Entry

  • Entries must be decorated and reflect the theme “Christmas Under the Sea.” Please refrain from being predominately commercial in nature.
  • Dressing as Mr. or Mrs. Santa Claus IS NOT PERMITTED. The Parade committee selects the official Santa Clause and Mrs. Clause for the parade.
  • Santa hats are permitted.
  • NO HANDOUTS! This includes but is not limited to: candy, beads, toys and pamphlets.
  • NO BUBBLES, FOAM or ANYTHING ELSE that might draw a children into the parade route.
  • Each entry must provide at least two adult supervisors to walk the parade route.
  • Symbols that can be construed as offensive may not be permitted in the Parade. This includes, but is not limited to, the Confederate Flag and the Swastika.
  • The Fredericksburg Christmas Parade is a family-friendly event for all ages, and every entry in the parade is expected to respect this. All costumes, outfits, behavior, attitude, language, and dance moves must be appropriate for a young audience and will be held to a high standard. Failure to comply may result in being asked to leave the parade immediately with no warning and may jeopardize a group’s approval to participate in following years. All decisions are at the discretion of Parade officials and are final.
  • No Changes to your Entry: Your parade entry must arrive at the parade route as it is described on your entry form. No changes are permitted to your entry after the entry deadline. For example, if you describe your group as “walkers and no vehicle,” then you are not permitted to add a vehicle after the registration deadline. Any unauthorized changes or additions (including the addition of vehicles) to your entry will cause disqualification of your unit at the time of the Parade.
  • There will be a MANDATORY SAFETY PARADE meeting on Monday, November 11, 2023 at 7:30 pm at the Dorothy Hart Community Center. You or a representative along with the driver of the float (if applicable) must attend. Parade officials will review all procedures, requirements and parade line. You will receive your placement in the parade at this meeting


Float/Vehicle Rules:

  • Maximum Float/vehicle(s) Combination Dimensions Height 12 feet , Width 10 feet, Length 40 feet. Length cannot to exceed 40 feet from front bumper of first vehicle to back bumper of last vehicle. 
  • Any single-unit truck (no trailer) should not exceed 40 feet in length. Any combination vehicle (power unit plus trailer) which is connected using a pintle-hook or ball hitch system should not exceed 40 feet in length as measured from the forward most vehicle component to the rearmost component of the trailer.
  • ny combination vehicle which is connected using a fifth-wheel assembly should not exceed 40 ft in length as measured from the forward most vehicle component to the rearmost component of the trailer.
  • At the City of Fredericksburg’s discretion, an officer will be inspecting the floats and checking volunteers, participants, and staff for alcohol, marijuana (including marijuana-enriched products) and any illegal substances – and you will be removed immediately from the parade, without a refund, at the officer’s discretion.
  • All drivers must stay with their float from the time they arrive to the time the parade begins.
  • Children 14 and under are prohibited from walking alongside moving parade floats, vehicles and other motorized units.
  • Anyone between the ages of 14 to 18 or under 5 feet is prohibited to walking in front or in back of the vehicle. 
  • Your entry will be provided a division number sign that must be visible and clearly displayed on the FRONT LEFT SIDE DOOR (the driver’s side door) of the vehicle. 
  • All vehicle window must be free of decorations, including signs.
  • All vehicles must follow driving laws, including the head and tail lights are on while the car is on the parade rout. 
  • Entries are encouraged to display the name of the organization and/or business.
  • No low-boy type equipment trailers (due to extensive length and low ground clearance).
  • No protruding outrigger wheels or other appendages that might snare and injure bystanders.
  • Vehicle entries are required to carry a five pound/3A40BC fire extinguisher.  Available for purchase at any hardware store.
  • No unit, float or vehicle may make aggressive, abrupt or rapid movements at any point during the parade route.
  • Demonstrations of maneuverability, horsepower, speed agility, etc. is not permitted, to include law enforcement motorcycles, Shriner’s go-carts, modified trucks, race cars, etc.
  • The use of iPods, MP3 players, cell phones, camcorders, etc. is prohibited by all drivers during the parade.
  • The use of sirens or horns is prohibited in the parade line-up and along the parade route.
  • No vans, utility vehicles, etc. are permitted without tasteful Christmas decoration, or an attached float in accordance with the theme.
  • No wreckers or dump trucks will be allowed as a parade entry.
  • No propane trucks.
  • Additional fuel cans/containers are not to be stored on the floats or tow vehicle.

 Animal Entries:

  • All Animals must be able to walk at least 2.0 miles without stopping. If any animal cannot comfortable walk 2.0 miles, they should be in stollers or riding on a float. 
  • Animals are not permitted to interact with spectators at during the parade, includes petting, or meet and greets.  
  • Horse trailers will be parked in the designated parking area only.
  • Equestrian entries may not line up more than three horses/riders abreast.
  • Poop Scooping:
    • Four or fewer horses – must provide one costumed person equipped with scoop and container to clean up behind the horses.
    • More than four horses – must provide two costumed persons equipped with scoop and container to clean up behind the horses. If the horses are “diapered”, costumed pooper-scoopers are not required.

Parade Line Up:

  • Non-parade vehicles are not permitted into the staging areas. Groups should establish a meeting place outside of the parade divisions to meet and then walk to pre-assigned lineup division.
  • Parents dropping off members of your float/entry should pre-arrange a meeting/drop off location outside of the parade route and then walk to pre-assigned lineup division.
  • Line Up Times:
    • Any vehicle entry – 3:00pm
    • Walkers – 4:00pm
  • Entries not in position by 4:45pm will not be allowed to participate and will forfeit their participation. Due to high volume traffic, we strongly recommend planning one hour extra time for arrival. If you haven’t reached your division by 4:45pm, you won’t make it in time for the parade start due to the crowds.

 Parade Route:

  • Entries will not pause and/or stop to perform at any other location besides the judge’s booth on the parade route.
  • Vehicles are only allowed to go straight, with the exception being in front of the Judge’s booth, which will be located on Princess Anne Street.
  • Entries will have 1 minute to perform at the judge’s booth.
  • Each entry must stay at least one large car length away from the entry in front of them.
  • Walking entries may perform forward motion drills, dancing, etc. on the parade route as long as they continue to move forward down the street in a timely manner.
  • Special attention is required as you turn left on Amelia Street and left again on Princess Anne Street.
  • Vehicles should maintain a walking-pace speed of less than 5 miles in hour
  • The parade route ends at the intersection of Princess Anne Street and Wolfe Street. Do not disembark at the parade end. Make a right onto Wolfe and move through the intersection, following police direction. Move to a non-traffic area beyond Wolfe Street to disembark. A police officer will be on hand to direct traffic away from the parade route. Do NOT debate with the officers.

Parking:

  • Carpooling is recommend.  We recommend if you are participating in the parade that you park at Dixon Park, Old Mill Park or Dorothy Hart Community Center and arrive to the lineup area as a group. Please obey all traffic laws. Street parking and City public parking lots are available on a first come, first served basis.
  • Buses must park at Dixon Park or the VRE designated bus parking area and are NOT permitted in the parade line-up.
  • Horse trailers must park at designated parking area only.
  • If you park on the street, make sure you obey all posted signage and restrictions and do not block any driveways or alleys. Please do not park in any private parking lots unless you have express permission from the property owner to do so.
  • There will be no parking along the parade route and on some adjacent side streets beginning at 2:00 p.m. on the day of the parade.
  • Streets will close and towing will begin at the VRE parking lot bound by Sophia Street, Frederick Street, and Caroline Street at 2:00 pm. See the parade map for street/lot closings.
  • There will be signs in place to indicate the restrictions. The Police Department will have vehicles towed on Saturday afternoon that have not been removed from the street.
  • Contracted towing companies, not the Police Department, are authorized to tow vehicles from most private lots. Towing is at the owner’s expense.

 Drones:

    Only authorized drones are permitted at the Fredericksburg Christmas Parade. All other drones are prohibited.


      Weather:

      • In the event of inclement weather, the parade will continue as scheduled unless City Police and Fire deem the weather to be extreme and raise safety concerns. Your attendance in the event during inclement weather is at your discretion. However, if you choose NOT to attend, please email the Parade Committee by 2:00 pm the day of the event so we can adjust.
      • There will be no postponement or rescheduling of the parade.
      • Your entry fee is non-refundable even in the event of a cancellation.
      • It is also strongly recommended that you register for Fredericksburg Alert at fredericksburgalert.com so that you receive weather related alerts and updates regarding the parade. We will not be notifying individual groups, we will be sending weather-related parade notices through Fredericksburg Alert.

      Judging

      • All entries will have 1 minute to perform at the Judge’s stand. If the group stops longer than 1 minute they will be disqualified.
      • Be sure that your entry number is visible to the judges which will be located on the drivers’ side (left side)door of the parade route. We do not have replacement entry numbers, so if you lose yours you will not be judged.
      • Judging will be based on precision (for performing units), appearance, originality, attention to details, and incorporation of the parade theme.
      • The Judging stand will be located on Princess Anne Street in front of the courthouse.
      • Judging categories: 
      • Vehicle or Float
      • Walking Group – majority of the group is walking, vehicle is only providing music
      • Marching Band
      • Dance or Drill 
      • City Department
      • Animal Gorup
      • School/Youth Group or Organization
      • We will tally up the judge’s points when the event ends and post the winners on the website no later than Monday.

       Other important notes:

      • “No Parking” restrictions towing enforced begins at 2:00 pm along the parade route. The streets along the parade route and some adjacent side streets will be closed to vehicular traffic beginning at 3:30p.m. The roads will remain closed until city maintenance crews finish cleaning the route – all streets are expected to be open by 9:00 p.m.
      • There will be portable restrooms at various locations around the parade route, and the permanent facilities will be available at the Visitor Center and at City Hall. Refer to the parade map for details.
      • Use of alcohol, marijuana (including marijuana-enriched products) and any illegal substances by any and all parade participants is absolutely prohibited. Disregarding this rule will result in immediate removal from the parade. Violators will not be allowed to participate in any future City of Fredericksburg parade events.
      • Information, Lost and Found and First Aid will be located by the judge’s stand.
      • Please report problems to a Parade Marshal in your Division assembly area. Parade Marshals will be wearing safety vests.
      • For safety reasons, the City has prohibited vendors within the parade footprint during the Fredericksburg Christmas Parade. No one is permitted to set up on the sidewalks nor on the streets anywhere in the parade footprint on parade day between the hours of 3:30pm – 9:00pm.
      • Contact the Parade Committee at [email protected] with any questions.

      Lost and Found:

      • A Parade Representative will be next to the judges stand to collect lost and found items.
      • Children who are separated from their group will be taken to the judge’s stand.
      • Adults who are separated will ALSO be taken to the judge’s stand.