Richmond to celebrate 31st Christmas Parade

Janeal Downs
Staff Writer

The VCU Peppas will perform for the first time at this year’s annual Christmas Parade. Other VCU groups scheduled to perform include the student-run radio station WVCW.

With a giant inflated reindeer, “Legendary Santa” and numerous marching bands along the way, the city of Richmond will host its 31st annual Christmas Parade Dec. 6.

Starting at 10 a.m. and running for about two hours, the parade will start at the Science Museum of Virginia, down Broad Street for about two miles, and finish at the Richmond Coliseum.

“I think the Richmond Christmas Parade is a (local) tradition and a fan favorite,” parade spokesperson Tera Barry said. “It’s really a time for people to really kick off the holiday season and it gives people the chance to celebrate everything that Richmond is known for and loved.”

The theme of the parade is to celebrate past Christmas traditions. As of press time, there are 88 units signed up to participate in this year’s parade.

“Legendary Santa is a Richmond favorite,” Barry said. “He spends time at the Children’s Museum and he comes to celebrate the Christmas season with us.”

Among numerous performances and attractions, this year the VCU Peppas will perform for the first time in the parade. Another VCU participant will be WVCW, the student-run radio station at VCU who will work with a class to broadcast the parade live.

Jon Carpenter, who teaches Working in College Radio, said this is the third year the parade has served as a promotions assignment in the class. He said three students will be working the parade, one will do background research and another will promote the event. The group will be there from 8:30 a.m. until the Legendary Santa passes.

Barry said the parade’s Grand Marshal will be Chad Coleman, Richmond native and actor on “The Walking Dead.”

Radio sponsor Summit Media will have a float this year as well where country music artist Kristian Bush, former member of the band Sugarland, will be performing live.

“I love working with an organization that is really devoted to celebrating families,” Barry said. “Young people can come out having a good time seeing floats, princesses and balloons. I love that older people who’ve been around for generations love coming and seeing some of the older traditions like Snow Bear (and) Legendary Santa.”

Bands from Henrico County schools, Virginia Union University’s marching band and Virginia Military Institute’s marching band will also perform.

Another participant includes one of the parade’s major sponsors, Dominion Power. This will be the electric company’s fifth year sponsoring the parade.

Barry said for those who do not want to face the cold, the parade will also be showing live on CBS 6 and re-broadcasted on Christmas day.

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