Headed out to the Dominion Christmas Parade on Saturday? Find out everything you need to know about the parade route, parking, the weather, and even where to hang out once the festivities have wrapped up.
Last year’s Christmas Parade was a bit of a bust because of the cold, rainy weather. Perhaps the heavens were weeping because 2009 was the last year the parade was known as the “Ukrop’s Christmas Parade.” Just a guess.
But the show must go on, as they say, and this year’s parade (happening courtesy of Dominion) is shaping up to be a a glowing example of fine, holiday fun in Richmond.
Of course, such a popular event is sure to bring with it many Richmonders and much hoopla. Use the information below to keep yourself in the know (and those crowd-induced bah-humbuggish feelings at bay).
Wait… when is it? Where? What is happening?
The parade will take off from the Science of Museum of Virginia (2500 W. Broad Street) at 10am on Saturday, December 4 and continue downtown about three miles to the Coliseum on 7th Street. Here’s PDF of the parade route, courtesy of the Dominion Christmas Parade. And here’s the float lineup for you as well. Note: The Harlem Globetrotters are serving as Grand Marshalls. Do you think they’ll be wearing those stripey shorts?
But will I freeze?
Weather Dan says it’s going to be clear and cold with highs in the 30s for the start of the parade. So be sure to bundle those kiddies up good.
What roads are closed?
Eastbound Broad Street will be closed from Strawberry Street to Davis from 6am to 2pm.
Westbound Broad Street will be closed from 7th to Davis from 9am to 2pm.
Where do I park?
There is no designated parking for the parade, but you are free to park on any side street along the parade route or in the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control lot next to the Science Museum. The parade officials ask that you please do not park in the other lots at the Science Museum or the Children’s Museum unless you plan on paying them a visit.
Also please note: All VCU parking facilities will be closed to parade spectators due to the VCU/William & Mary basketball game scheduled for 12pm. Traffic in this area may be more congested on parade day than usual, so parade goers may want to avoid the Siegel Center area. At all cost.
Where should I watch the parade?
The parade folks say the best viewing spots are available in front of the DMV or near the former Sixth Street Marketplace. Apparently the Virginia Commonwealth University parking deck at the Siegel Center is also good, but that previous blurb about the VCU/W&M basketball game suggests you stay away from that area if you can.
Does it cost anything?
The parade is free, but they will be taking monetary and food donations to benefit the Central Virginia Foodbank. The foodbank is always in need of:
- Canned chicken and ham
- Canned tuna and salmon
- Peanut butter
- Canned vegetables
- Canned fruit
- Spaghetti sauce
- Hot and cold cereals
- Pasta and rice
Or you’re not up to bringing cash or cans to the parade, you can always get into the spirit of things by donating online at anytime. Remember, $1 equals five meals.
What should we do after?
You and your buds are likely to be a bit chilly once the parade wraps up, so we suggest heading out for a bite to eat to get some warm food in your bellies. Here are just a few ideas…
- Bellytimber Tavern (1501 W. Main Street)
- City Dogs (1309 W. Main Street)
- Garnett’s (2001 W. Park Avenue)
- Joe’s Inn (205 N. Shields Avenue)
- Karen’s City Diner (2237 W. Broad Street)
- Kuba Kuba (1601 Park Avenue)
- Rev It Up (1211 W. Main Street)
- Strawberry Street Cafe (421 N. Strawberry Street)
- Three Monkeys (2525 W. Main Street)
- Cafe Gutenberg (1700 E. Main Street)
- Capital Ale House (621 E. Main Street)
- LuLu’s (21 N. 17th Street)
- Perly’s (111 E. Grace Street)
- River City Diner
- Sine (1327 E. Cary Street)
- Cafe Ole (2901 W. Cary Street)
- Can Can (3120 W. Cary Street)
- Galaxy Diner (3109 W. Cary Street)
- Mary Angela’s (3345 W. Cary Street)
- New York Deli (2920 W. Cary Street)
- Weezie’s Kitchen (3123 W. Cary Street)
(Photo courtesy of scottobear)