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52nd Downtown Appleton Christmas Parade

The Appleton Parade Committee is proud to present the 52nd Downtown Appleton Christmas Parade on Tuesday, November 21, 2023.

The Downtown Appleton Christmas Parade is the largest nighttime parade in the Midwest. The parade will begin at 7:00 p.m. and move east on College Avenue from State Street to Drew Street. The Downtown Appleton Christmas parade annually draws 80,000 spectators to Downtown Appleton. Additionally, a television and online audience of more than 100,000 view the parade live and during rebroadcasts on WFRV-TV Local 5 (CBS affiliate).

The Parade Committee encourages all floats and walking units to embrace this year’s theme: “The Music and Magic of Christmas.” While the Downtown Appleton Christmas Parade signals the beginning of the holiday season, it’s also an opportunity for the community to come together and celebrate. “Music possesses a magical ability to harmonize hearts and unite souls,” said Corey Otis, Appleton Parade Committee Chairperson, “and never more enchantingly than during the holiday season.” 

Fittingly, the Heid family will serve as the 2023 Downtown Appleton Christmas Parade Marshal. “Heid Music has built and cultivated a legacy of music in the Fox Valley,” said Otis. “This year’s parade honors the Heid family’s countless contributions to music education, performance, and appreciation.” In 1948, musician Peter “Duke” Heid, also known as Papa, opened Heid Music on College Avenue in Appleton. Now in its 75th year, Heid Music is a third-generation family-owned business with locations in Appleton, Green Bay, Stevens Point, Oshkosh, and Madison. Heid Music actively supports music education programs and events in schools and communities through donations, music workshops, and sponsorships. Heid Music was recently named one of the top 50 music retailers in the U.S. by Music Trades Magazine, top 100 music dealers by NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants), and Best Musical Instrument Stores in the Best of Madison readers’ poll. (For more information about the Heid Family’s legacy of music, please visit https://www.heidmusic.com/aboutheidmusic/.)

Organizations interested in participating in the Downtown Appleton Christmas Parade must complete and submit an official application before October 2, 2023. Groups may apply via the Downtown Appleton Christmas Parade Facebook page, the City of Appleton website (https://www.appleton.org/visitors/appleton-parades), U.S. Mail, or this link: https://forms.gle/qoDF6DvkgBJuxJqE6

Follow the Downtown Appleton Christmas Parade on Facebook for updates on this year’s event.