Thousands of people converged on downtown Asheville Saturday morning for the annual holiday parade that featured everything from big tractors and little tots to marching bands and church floats, funky chickens and cheerleaders. Oh, and Santa Claus, of course.
Parade-goers bundled themselves up in winter hats, gloves, jackets and quilts to ward off the cold and applauded the paraders. The 62nd annual parade, sponsored for the first time by the Asheville Downtown Association in partnership with the city of Asheville, started at 11 a.m., three hours earlier than usual. The parade route was reversed, with the starting line on Charlotte Street and the floats heading up Biltmore Avenue through Pack Square and down Patton Avenue past Pritchard Park.
There was plenty of candy tossed to eager little hands, and some floats in the parade collected items for charity from those who came to watch. The theme of the parade this year was “The Art and Heart of Giving.”