Christmas Parade float


The 47th Annual Downtown Appleton Christmas Parade will be Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2017. This year's theme is "Our Wish for the Season: Peace, Joy & Harmony."

The Parade will begin at 7:00 p.m. at the corner of State St. and College Ave. It will head east on College Ave. to Drew St.

Christmas Parade float 

The Appleton Downtown Christmas Parade is the largest nighttime parade in the Midwest. Last year's parade drew about 80,000 spectators to Downtown Appleton.

Parade Route

The parade begins at State Street and College Avenue in downtown Appleton and travels east on College Avenue to Drew Street. See map.  


The 2017 Christmas Parade Marshal
is Lee Allinger


YMCA Banner Appleton Area School District's Lee Allinger was selected in the spring of 2007 as Superintendent of Wisconsin's sixth largest school district. Lee is a native of Appleton who attended Appleton schools and raised his own family here.
He served as a teacher, principal, assistant superintendent, and deputy superintendent for 23 years prior to becoming Appleton's Superintendent. Lee retired in June of 2017 with a total of 33 years dedicated to the Appleton Area School District.
It was a big job. As Superintendent, Allinger oversaw the education of 16,400 students attending 35 schools and was in charge of 1,800 staff including 1,300 teachers. Lee enjoyed working with a committed staff, Board of Education, parents, business partners, volunteers, and the community towards the goal of Preparing Our Students for Their Future ~ Every Child, Every Day.
Lee continues to support our community through serving on the Boards of the Gordon Bubolz Nature Preserve, Fox Cities Performing Arts Center, and the Community Early Learning Center.



Television Schedule

Each year, over 80,000 spectators attend the Annual Downtown Appleton Christmas Parade. This year’s parade will be televised live by WFRV-TV and re-broadcast as follows.
Broadcast times:
    Tuesday, November 21st, 7:00-8:30 (live)
    Saturday, November 25th, 11:00am-12:30pm (re-broadcast)
    Monday, December 25th, 5:00am-6:30am (re-broadcast)
WFRV-TV Local 5

Before the Parade

Thrivent will be collecting donations of canned goods for their "Thrivent Cans Hunger" food drive. For information go here.

The Santa Scamper Run

The Santa Scamper run

Race Start: 6:40 p.m. at corner of State Street & College Avenue. The 1-mile run starts about 1/2 hour prior to the 47th Annual Downtown Appleton Christmas Parade and proceeds down College to Drew St., finishing at City Park. No roller blades. No pets please. For more, visit: Santa Scamper information & registration.

Parade Participation

Limit on participants. Due to the unpredictable weather this time of year, we must limit the parade to 70 units. The Appleton Downtown Christmas Parade has become so popular that we cannot always accommodate everyone who wishes to enter. Regardless, we encourage all entries and attempt to include as many as possible. Units are strongly encouraged (but not required) to use the theme "Our Wish for the Season: Peace, Joy & Harmony." Several guidelines have been set to help the selection committee determine final entries. They are as follows:

1.  Applicants will be accepted in the following commercial
and non-commercial categories:

    a)   Floats
    b)   Bands
    c)   Animals (including carriages, horse-drawn vehicles
          and animal walking units)
    d)   Vehicles (single units, including cars, trucks, buses, etc.)
    e)   Walking Units
2.  All entries must be of a non-commercial Christmas theme and be decorated accordingly. This parade is designed to entertain families, especially children. It is not a commercial endeavor. The City of Appleton Parade Committee will eliminate any entry not in compliance. Therefore, floats are encouraged to display their name or sponsor on the float in a non-commercial manner.
3.  No entry can display Santa Claus or Mrs. Claus. The City of Appleton Parade Committee will provide the Santa and Mrs. Claus. (More than one Santa confuses the children.)

Parade Policies

The parade committee does not allow anything to be thrown or handed to spectators on the sidelines. We must take this stance for safety purposes and any group in violation may be removed from the parade list in the following years. This rule will be strictly enforced. If you have questions, please use the links under Contacts below.

Appleton Common Council Parade Policy: No person or object may be used to reserve a location along the College Avenue parade route at any time prior to noon on the day of the Christmas Parade. Persons may place items along the route after noon of the day of the parade only if they remain with those items.


US Army band

As is tradition, three traveling trophies will be awarded to the best entries in the following categories:

  1. The Appleton Downtown
    Inc. Trophy

    Best Commercial Entry
  2. The Christmas Parade Trophy
    Best Non-Commercial Entry
  3. The Bernie Pearlman
    Memorial Trophy

    Best Entry "In the Eyes of a Child"


Please contact Greg Otis or Djuanna Hugdahl at the ADI Office at (920) 954-9112
if you have other questions about the Downtown Appleton Christmas Parade.
Information is also available at
and at WFRV TV, Channel 5,










Photo credits...

Photos courtesy of Jeff Lindsey and Appleton Downtown Inc.

© 2017 Appleton Downtown Christmas Parade Committee