The great tradition of Norfolk’s Grand Illumination Parade is a great way to kick-off your holiday season. The area will be buzzing with people trying to take everything in, so here are a few FYIs if you are heading downtown for the event.
What time does the parade start?
The synchronized countdown and grand illumination of the skylines and parade begin at 7 p.m.
How long is the parade?
About an hour from the time the first unit reaches your location along the parade route
Is the Parade Free?
The parade is free and open to the public and there is plenty of free seating available along the 2 mile route. Street seats are available for purchase, $10 for General Admission and $25 for VIP seats.
Can we bring chairs?
What is the parade route?
The 2-mile parade route begins at the corner of St. Paul’s Blvd and Main Street. It travels along Main Street to Granby Street, heading North. It then turns onto Freemason Street going west, turns onto Boush Street, heading south and finishes on Waterside Drive and Water Street in front of the Sheraton Norfolk Waterside Hotel.
What time should I arrive Downtown?
We recommend you arrive as early as possible, heavy congestion starts at 5 p.m.
Is there any entertainment before the parade?
There are plenty of dining and shopping options!
You can visit the new Dicken’s Christmas Towne – $5/person, kids 2 & under are FREE.
MacArthur on Ice and Winter Carnival are open.
Various entertainment on the parade route starts at 5:30 p.m.
What is the best garage to park in?
There is not “best” garage we recommend. It all depends on where you want to sit on the parade route and what direction you are entering downtown from. Go to our website for a list of garages and locations to familiarize yourself.
How much will parking cost?
All City garages are collect on entry. Cash ONLY. $2 until 5 p.m. After 5 p.m. – $5
There are 14 garage options in downtown Norfolk. You can find them all on our website here.
Dominion Tower garage is $5 collect on entry from 3 – 6 p.m.
Is the route handicap friendly?
All of the viewing areas are ADA accessible. If you have any concerns along the route, please see one of our volunteers in a bright green safety vest.
What time will the streets close and re-open?
Park Avenue and Water Street in the Harbor Park area will close at noon on 11/19. A rolling closure of streets on or adjacent to the parade route will begin about 6 p.m.
Parade traffic can sometimes be a nightmare so it’s a good idea to use public transportation or take as much time as possible, so HRT has a few tips.