With mild temperatures in the forecast, record numbers of people are expected to attend the 45th annual WIVK Christmas Parade this Friday, Dec. 1.


The parade will step off onto Howard Baker Jr. Avenue at 6:45 p.m. and proceed to Church Street, turn right onto Gay Street, continue several blocks before turning right on Jackson Avenue and disbanding at Patton Avenue in the Old City.


Parade emcee Dino Cartwright of WVLT Channel 8 will be stationed on the bandstand at the entrance to the Krutch Park extension, announcing each unit of the parade as it passes.


The parade’s grand marshal is Knoxville native and University of Tennessee graduate Caty Davis, who was crowned Miss Tennessee 2017 this summer.


Parade participants include 112 community groups and businesses, including Zoo Knoxville, Dollywood, Titanic Museum, Smoky Mountain Opry, the Knoxville Ice Bears, and the Tennessee Smokies. Knox Area Transit will roll out their restored vintage 1957 bus, along with Knoxville Fire Department’s antique fire engines. Featured among the six participating bands is the 130-member Karns High School Marching Band.


This year’s WIVK Christmas Parade is presented by 865-HVAC, Knoxville’s Heating & Cooling Specialists, with support from the City of Knoxville, WVLT Channel 8 and the Knoxville News Sentinel.


Parade attendees are encouraged to arrive early in order to park and find the ideal location to watch the parade. Free parking is available at the State Street, Locust Street, Market Square, and Dwight Kessel garages downtown.


The following road closures and temporary no-parking zones will be in effect:


  • The eastbound lane of Howard Baker Jr. Avenue between Hill Avenue and Hall of Fame Drive will be closed from 4:30 – 8 p.m. Friday.


  • Roads will be closed along the parade route, starting at 6:30 p.m. Friday, including Gay Street between Cumberland and Depot avenues. Streets will reopen as soon as the parade has completed its route.


  • There will be a temporary no-parking zone on Gay Street between Jackson and Cumberland avenues, starting at 4:30 p.m. Friday.


  • Market Street between Union and Church avenues and Union Avenue between Walnut and Gay streets also will be closed during the parade, and temporary no-parking zones will be in effect.



The WIVK Christmas Parade is part of Christmas in the City, an assortment of festive events, performances and treats taking place through Jan. 7, 2018, including: Holidays on Ice open-air skating rink, the Window Wonderland holiday display, Elf on the Shelf Adventure scavenger hunt, and the downtown Peppermint Trail.


Another holiday tradition continues on Sunday, Dec. 3, at 3 p.m. at the Bijou Theatre, when Knoxville Community Band presents a free holiday concert. Presented by the Knoxville Parks and Recreation Department, the Knoxville Community Band is made up entirely of volunteers who play because they love music.


A list of seasonal events is available at KnoxvilleTN.gov/Christmas.