Large Crowd Gathers for Grand Illumination

Onlookers, rows deep, lined the streets of Downtown Norfolk Saturday night to enjoy the 33rd annual Grand Illumination Parade.

People started claiming their spots on Granby Street as early as noon!

“You gotta get here early to get a good seat!” said one parade-goer.

Photos: Norfolk Grand Illumination 2017

10 On Your Side spoke to a family as they camped out on the sidewalk by Saint Germain, having made the trip from North Carolina.

“I get excited every time it starts and I hear the drums and the sirens,” said Shari Miller. “I become a little kid again.”

Miller said she and her family have attended the parade for the last 29 years.

Starting at 7 p.m., dozens of floats traveled down Main Street, rounding Granby to cheers and applause. Thousands of lights lit up the city.

Local bands, churches, first-responders, members of the military and city officials were among those marching.

“Couldn’t ask for a better night,” one woman said, noting the temperature. “It was perfect.”

After the parade, many attendees headed to nearby bars and restaurants.

“It’s a very busy evening,” said Tiffany Kidwell-Gaylord, Co-Owner at Saint Germain. Her restaurant and many others increase staff for the night.

The parade is just one of many festivities planned in Norfolk this holiday season.

Check out a full city-by-city list of events at this link on