On Friday, December 4, 2015 at 6:30 p.m., Downtown Watertown will be full of holiday cheer and bustling with activity as the City hosts the annual Christmas Parade and Downtown Tree Lighting Ceremony on Public Square.
The holiday festivities will begin at 6:30 p.m. on the north side of Public Square with a musical performance by the General Brown 6th Grade Chorus. A musical performance by the award winning Northern Blend Chorus will follow at 6:45 p.m.
At 7:00 p.m., the annual Christmas Parade, featuring over 35 entries, including a special guest from the North Pole, will travel through Public Square. The parade route will start on Black River Parkway, enter Public Square at Mill Street, travel through the north side of Public Square and down Court Street before ending in the Court Street Parking Lot.
Following the parade at approximately 7:45 p.m., Mayor Jeffrey E. Graham and members of the City Council will officially kick off the holiday season with a countdown to turn on the City’s holiday music and light display.
After the parade and tree lighting, Santa and Mrs. Claus will be greeting children in the Public Square Gazebo until 8:45 p.m. Mulled cider, hot cocoa and coffee will be served free of charge during the event courtesy of the Downtown Business Association (DBA). For a full schedule of events, please visit http://www.publicsquare.com/.
New this year is a holiday decorating contest sponsored by the Downtown Business Association. The theme of the contest is “Let Freedom Ring with the Bells of Christmas: A Salute to Our Military and the 10th Mountain Division.” The DBA is encouraging business and property owners to decorate their storefronts and buildings for the holiday season. The DBA Board will be judging all of the participating storefronts on December 1, 2015 and will announce the winners just prior to the parade. The winning business will receive a 2016 DBA membership and a pizza party. For contest rules and to register your business, go to http://www.publicsquare.com/.
Entries for the Christmas Parade will be accepted up until the start of the parade. Any late entries will be placed in the line of march ahead of Santa Claus. Contact Parade Chairman Stanley Zaremba at (315) 416-1087 for more information.
Preparations for the holiday season and this event are already underway as City DPW crews are getting ready to install over 100 pole mounted decorations throughout the Downtown area. On Wednesday, November 18, 2015, DPW crews will erect a 30’ cut Christmas tree in the center of Public Square. The tree, donated to the City by the DBA, will be the centerpiece of the light and music display.
The music and light display features thousands of LED lights that are synchronized to a variety of holiday songs. The music and light display will run every 30 minutes each night from 4:30 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. from December 5, 2015 through January 5, 2016.
Beginning at 4:00 p.m. on the day of the event, all travel lanes on the north side of Public Square will be closed to traffic and on-street parking will be restricted. In addition, Black River Parkway, Court Street and portions of Mill Street will be closed to traffic for the parade, beginning at approximately 5:45 p.m.
Temporary barricades, traffic cones and signage will be placed, and a detour route will be established for the event. Parking will be available at one of the many City parking lots in the downtown area and at the Jefferson County Human Services Building North and South Parking Lots after 5:00 p.m.
Tree Lighting Contact: Michael Lumbis, Planner, City of Watertown
Downtown Business Association Contact: David Winters, President
Parade Contact: Stanley Zaremba, Parade Chairman