City of Charleston set for ‘biggest’ Christmas parade ever in city

CHARLESTON, W.Va. –A year after Covid cancelled the Charleston Christmas Parade, the event returns in 2021 bigger than ever. The parade steps off at 7 p.m. Tuesday evening starting a the corner of Capitol Street and Kanawha Boulevard. This year’s parade will feature more than 150 units.

“When we came in in 2019, we had a goal of trying to make the biggest Christmas Parade in Charleston–and we did it. Now we’re at more than 150 participants and we topped it and we are so excited,” said MacKenzie Spencer, parade coordinator with Mayor Amy Goodwin’s office.

Among the parade lineup with be a half dozen marching bands from schools around the county. There will also be more than two dozen floats being judged in the float competition. As usual local fie departments and law enforcement will have a presence.

“We expect a big turnout along the streets of Charleston and we’re excited to see everyone, especially the kiddos,” said Spencer.

The parade route will begin on Capital Street at Kanawha Boulevard, travel across down to Washington Street East where it makes a left and travels west until making another left on Clendenin Street between the Town Center Mall at the Charleston Coliseum and Convention Center and will end back on the Boulevard. Spencer said they varied up the route a little for this year after learning in 2019.

“We found some people dropping off, things were slowing down, and there weren’t as many spectators. We decided to make it a square to make it more simpler and make the turns easier for some who have to navigate with big floats,” she explained.

During the parade, some of the main streets through the downtown will be closed until the processing clears out. Those include Virginia Street, Lee Street, and Quarrier Street which will close at 7 pm. Parts of Kanawha Boulevard in the parade area will also be closed early Thursday in preparation for the parade.

If you can’t make it out to the parade, you can hear it broadcast on 580-WCHS with Chris Lawrence, Carrie Hodousek, Steve Bishop, and Jenny Murray.