Main

Don’t Miss the Nashville Christmas Parade!

The Nashville Christmas Parade is a Tennessee tradition like none other. The 2020 version benefits the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.

It will occur on December 5, 2020, at 9 AM. Although a gathering in downtown Nashville isn’t possible this year, WKRN will broadcast special appearances and performances. You’ll also get to see past highlights, sponsor spotlights, and patient stories.

The parade continues the tradition that started in 1927. For this year, hosts are Nikki Burdine, Neil Orne, and Grace Hamilton, the children’s hospital’s ambassador.

History of the Nashville Christmas Parade

The Associated Retailers of Nashville sponsored the city’s first Christmas Parade. It only took three years for the daily newspapers and the local radio station to get involved with the event.

Piedmont Natural Gas continues to be the title sponsor, a role that they took over in 1952 while operating as the Nashville Gas Company.

About 400,000 people came to the 1951 parade, but now, over one million people see it each year. It used to be held in the evening, had some afternoon start times, and moved to a Saturday morning in 2015.

During the first 20 years, the parade was all about Christmas. Starting in 1947, the organizers began using different themes to create some variation in the proceedings.

The history of the parade has seen some intriguing highlights after almost a century of celebrations.

  • A bomb threat in 1981 delayed the event as police officers searched the lead float.
  • Fourteen floats from the Orange Bowl Parade came up to Nashville for the event in 1969.
  • The University of Tennessee had the Pride of the Southland Band participate in 1972, with Vanderbilt students showering the group with oranges as they passed their dormitories.
  • WNGE broadcasted the first televised parade in 1972.

With the early start time, you may want to stock up on Solgar or Premier Research Labs products to be ready for the event. Hopefully, the Nashville Christmas Parade will return as a public event in 2021!