Christmas Parade float


The 49th Annual Downtown Appleton Christmas Parade will be Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019. This year's theme is "That Holiday Feeling!"

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

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 2019 Christmas Parade Marshal
will be longtime Parade Committee members Greg Otis and Harvey Samson.

Greg OtisGreg Otis (right)
Harvey SamsonHarvey Samson

Longtime Parade Committee members Greg Otis and Harvey Samson have been named the 2019 Parade Marshal for Appleton's Christmas Parade.

After 33 years as the Appleton Parade Committee Chairman, Greg Otis retired after last year’s Christmas Parade. During his 33 years as Chair, Greg has been part of more than 200 parades in the City of Appleton, including Memorial Day and Flag Day Parades and even several parades in cities outside Appleton.

Under Greg’s leadership the Appleton Parade Committee has put on the biggest and best community-based parades in the State of Wisconsin, if not the nation. Greg’s dedication to the Appleton Parade Committee epitomizes what makes Appleton a truly great place to live: The many volunteers dedicated to the events and causes that touch and enrich so many lives not only in Appleton, but all of northeastern Wisconsin.

Greg has been married to his wife Peg for 45 years. They have two sons, one daughter and four grandchildren.

Harvey Samson recently stepped down from his role as assistant chairman of the Parade Committee. A position he held for the last 38 years, serving 41 years on the committee overall. He has also served on the Flag Day Parade Committee for 37 years.

Harvey is a local attorney and has been a member of the City’s Police and Fire Commission since 1983. He is a former member of the Board of Directors of the Appleton Senior Center and a founding board member of Appleton Downtown, Inc. He still volunteers for ADI along with Boy Scout Troop 8, the Appleton Boy Choir and Appleton North High School Band.

Harvey has been married to his wife Nancy for 49 years. They have two sons and two grandchildren.

On behalf of the entire community, the Appleton Parade Committee thanks both Greg and Harvey for their many years of dedicated service to our community.



Television Schedule

Christmas Parade float

Each year, over 80,000 spectators attend the Annual Downtown Appleton Christmas Parade. This year’s parade will be televised live and rebroadcast twice.

The Santa Scamper Run

The Santa Scamper run

Race Start: TBD at corner of State Street & College Avenue. The 1-mile run starts about 1/2 hour prior to the 49th 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 "That Holiday Feeling!" 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 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.

© 2019 Appleton Downtown Christmas Parade Committee