BILLINGS — The Billings Holiday Parade is back on this year after a year off due to the COVID-19 pandemic and will snake through the downtown streets the day after Thanksgiving starting at 6:30 p.m.
This will be the 36th year the parade has brought Christmas joy to Billings, and this year it will be on a new route.
Onlookers will have a good view on either Second Avenue North or Third Avenue North between the side streets of North Broadway and North 32nd Street. The new parade staging area is on the west side of downtown: On Second Avenue North, and North 33rd, 34th, and 35th streets. View the photos below to see staging area and parade route maps.
It's not just the Holiday Parade that will have the different route. Every downtown parade will now take this route.
The Billings City Council changed the route in January 2020 to allow the main thoroughfare of North 27th Street to be kept open and to eliminate parade congestion at the Billings MET Transit Downtown Transfer Station, located just east of North 27th Street.
With the new route, staging and the parade itself will all stay on the west side of North 27th Street.
This year's parade theme is cartoon celebrations, and 57 floats are scheduled to take part. It's even rumored that the big dog himself, Santa Clause, will take some time away from the North Pole toy workshop to be the last float in the parade.
People who can't make it downtown to watch the parade in person can catch the parade live on Community 7 TV.
Parade organizers ask for patience from float drivers and the community as the new parade route might take some getting used to.