There’s nothing like a festive Christmas parade to make you feel like a kid again! Head out to one of the parades listed below for a night of family fun.
The 2018 Lakeland Christmas Parade is kicking off its 38th year on Thursday, December 6th at 7:00pm. The parade begins with fireworks over Lake Mirror and then makes its way through downtown Lakeland. Route map below.
You will only see upcoming events below. See a full list of events on our Calendar Page.
2018 Polk County Christmas Parades
Polk City Christmas Parade – Saturday, December 1 @ 2pm
City of Frostproof Christmas Parade – Saturday, December 1 @ 6pm
Fort Meade Christmas Parade – TBD
Lakeland Christmas Parade – Thursday, December 6 @ 7pm
Havendale Christmas Parade (Auburndale & Winter Haven) – Friday, December 7 @ 7pm
Light up the Lakes Winter Haven Boat Parade – Saturday, December 8 @ 6pm
Winterfest in Davenport & Parade – Saturday, December 8 @ 6pm
Mulberry Christmas Parade & Christmas Village – Saturday, December 8 @ 6pm
Lake Wales Kiwanis Christmas Parade – Saturday, December 8 @ 6pm
Lake Alfred Christmas Parade – Saturday, December 8 @ 6:30pm
Bartow Christmas Parade – Friday, December 14 @ 6pm
Lakeland Christmas Parade Tips
If you’ve never been to the Lakeland Christmas Parade, the most important thing to know is that it is CROWDED!! Don’t be scared away, just prepare yourself (physically AND mentally), and know how to make the most of this Lakeland tradition.
- People set their chairs out early. We’re talking 7am on parade day or even the night before. Front row spots are almost always claimed by 7am. I usually head down around 8:30am after I drop kids off at school and we have no problem finding a 2nd row spot, and then stand up if we can’t see. If you set chairs out be sure they aren’t special to you just in case they go missing (we don’t think this happens, BUT just in case…)
- Pick your spot in advance – remember that it takes 45-60 minutes for the first float to get to the end of the parade route. Also think about where you have to go when the parade is over. The parade makes a big U, streets will remain closed until the parade finishes.
- Take dinner and drinks with you – there are options for finding food, but it is usually easier to just take subs or a pizza with us. Plus it gives us something to do for the hour+ wait before the parade starts. (see next point)
- Plan to get there early. The fireworks start at 7pm, we are usually at our spot by 6pm, if not earlier to be sure we still have a spot (chairs sometimes get “shifted”).
- BE COURTEOUS – the parade is a much more enjoyable experience when people are friendly!
- Traffic is awful before and after the parade. THOUSANDS of people in Downtown Lakeland makes for a lot of traffic. Just accept it and know you’ll eventually get home!