Get ready for a holly, jolly, most wonderful time of the year kick-off to your holiday season when Santa once again rolls down Commerce Street in the Dallas Holiday Parade set for Saturday, Dec. 2.
A tradition since 1987, the parade was formerly named the Adolphus Children's Parade and most recently the Children's Health Holiday Parade. This year's parade has been renamed the Dallas Holiday Parade. But no matter the official title, the parade draws hundreds of thousands of spectators who line Commerce Street to wave and cheer as costumed characters, marching bands, dancers and Santa and Mrs. Claus pass by.
Besides the new name, there will be a few other tweaks to the 2017 festivities. The parade route changes slightly, starting at Commerce and Houston streets, traveling east on Commerce to Harwood. The parade will make performance stops near the West End and in front of the Adolphus Hotel and end with a grand finale in front of the Statler. There will be two parade festivals: one in Belo Garden (Commerce and Griffin) and the other in Main Street Garden (across from the Statler). The festivals will open at 7:30 a.m. with food trucks, entertainment and other family fun activities. The parade will step off at 10 a.m. and, as always, is free for spectators. Tickets for bleacher seating went on sale earlier this week.
Dallas' holiday parade has suffered a few setbacks in recent years. Bad weather caused cancellations in 2013 and 2016, the only cancellations in 30 years. Earlier this year, longtime parade sponsor Children's Health announced it was stepping down.
Jeffrey Giles, president and CEO of HTE Dance and Spirit Group, is the new executive director of the parade. The Dallas native has been its director of pageantry for 28 years and has created production numbers for some of the biggest parades in the country including the Tournament of Roses Parade. Giles will keep the Dallas tradition going with help from past parade director Cassie Collins, who is the new operations manager, and many of the same committee members and volunteers.
Giles says he's excited to not just "salvage the parade, but to make it bigger and better." He says, "It's an exciting time for Dallas and we want to bring the city together to celebrate the holidays."