The Fredericksburg Christmas Parade will be held rain, shine or snow in downtown Fredericksburg on Saturday, December 2, 2023 at 5:30pm. In the highly unusual event that severe weather requires a cancellation, we will notify people through our Fred Alerts “Events Notification” list. We would also post notifications on Facebook @FredParksRec and through our media partner B101.5 radio. The parade will not be rescheduled.
The parade is held along Caroline and Princess Anne Streets in Downtown Fredericksburg, Virginia. The parade is free to attend and the public invited. Please dress for cold weather and wear walking shoes. See our parade map for more information. Come early and stay late!! Enjoy downtown shops and restaurants before and after the parade.
Stay and shop in downtown after the parade – many businesses will be open late!
Main Street After Dark: Late Night Shopping Extravaganza! Get ready to light up the night with Main Street After Dark, a festive late-night shopping event that follows the dazzling downtown Christmas parade! Saturday, December 2, 2023 from 8:00PM – Midnight.
Join us as downtown transforms into a magical wonderland after dark! After the Christmas parade, participating retailers are reopening their doors at 8:00 PM to offer you an exclusive and extended shopping experience that lasts until midnight. Main Street After Dark- Shopping Late Details are on Facebook here.
Read our Spectator FAQ’s below:
1. Where can I watch the parade?
Viewing locations along the route are available on a first come, first served basis; however, this is the perfect opportunity to demonstrate some holiday cheer to your fellow parade viewers!
Feel free to bring lawn chairs and/or blankets to sit on. Show a little extra kindness and courtesy to children and those with limited mobility, stay down in front so those behind you don’t miss seeing their favorite parade entry. And while we all love dogs (especially those dressed up for Christmas), your dog must be on a leash and crowd-friendly.
The parade can be viewed from the sidewalk on both sides of the street along the route. (Exception: the sidewalk in front of the courthouse is closed.) There will be barricades at all intersections along the parade route to keep the audience out of the street and to allow avenues for pedestrian crossing.
There will be a parade marshal at each barricaded intersection to keep these areas clear and to facilitate safe emergency crossing, and there will be a large contingent of uniformed police officers posted throughout the area.
2. Where is parking for the parade?
First and foremost, we cannot stress enough how important carpooling is.
Please visit our parking page for a complete list of parking lots.
Contracted towing companies, not the Police Department, are authorized to tow vehicles from most private lots. If you are towed the day of the event, please call Fredericksburg Police Headquarters at 540-373-3122 option #2.
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. There will be signs in place to indicate the restrictions. The Police Department will have vehicles towed at the owners’ expense on Saturday afternoon that have not been removed from the street.
• Handicap Parking – Designated handicap parking is available in the VRE drop off lot. There are 13 spaces available. Please see parade map for location.
• Parking Garage– The city parking garage will be available for $2.00 per car.
3. In case of bad weather, is the parade canceled?
The parade will be held rain, snow or shine. However, in the event of extreme weather and safety concerns City Police and Fire may require cancelation. There will be no postponement or rescheduling of the parade.
Please register for notifications for Fredericksburg Alert so that you receive weather related alerts and updates regarding the parade. Individual phone calls with updates will not be made.
4. What streets are going to be closed on the day of the event?
Please refer to the parade map and street closure notice. The streets along the parade route and some adjacent side streets will be closed to vehicular traffic beginning at 2:00p.m. The roads will remain closed until city maintenance crews finish cleaning the route – all streets are expected to be open by 9 p.m.
5. What time do I set up chairs on the parade route?
We do not have a recommendation for when or where chairs should be set up along the parade route. Please keep in mind that stores and restaurants are open on Saturday, and people will want access to them. The streets close to all traffic at 3:30pm along the route, and the parade starts at 5:30pm. We ask everyone (sitting and standing) not to block storefronts, sidewalks, egresses, crosswalks and handicap ramps. If our police see a safety hazard they will ask people to move to alleviate the hazard.
6. What is the timeline for parade day?
Streets will close and towing will begin at the parking lot bound by Sophia St., Frederick St., & Caroline St. at 2:00 p.m. From around 3:30pm-5:00pm participants start arriving in designated time slots (provided at participant meeting in November) to their spots. See the parade map for street/lot closings.
It is also strongly recommended that you register for Fredericksburg Alert so that you receive weather related alerts and updates regarding the parade.
7. Where are restrooms along the parade route?
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.
8. Is it okay to bring my dog?
Dog are permitted in this public setting but are discouraged due to the crowds. All dogs are required to be on a leash and they need to be extremely crowd-friendly. Also, please remember that failing to pick up your dog’s waste is a ticket-able offense.
9. Am I allowed to have alcohol at the event?
Use of alcohol, marijuana (including marijuana-enriched products) and any illegal substances are absolutely prohibited. Disregarding this rule will result in immediate removal from the parade.
10. How can I be a vendor at the parade?
For safety reasons, the City of Fredericksburg 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.
11. How do I volunteer to assist with the parade?
Please visit our Volunteer page for more details.
12. Who were the winning groups?
We will announce the winners on this website on Monday after the parade.
13. Do you have a Lost and Found?
A parade representative will be located at 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.
14. Who is the main point of contact for the parade? How do I get in touch with them?
Fredericksburg Parks & Recreation is the main point of contact for the parade. They can be reached at 540-372-1086 or at fredchristmasparade
Fredericksburg Parks & Recreation is open Monday-Thursday 9am-8:00pm, Friday 9am-4:00pm and closed Saturday and Sunday. Administrative offices have different hours of operation however; the front desk can assist you in person with general questions.
15. Can I bring my drone?
Drones are prohibited at the Fredericksburg Christmas Parade.