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23 AMAZING Michigan Christmas Parades 2023: Holiday Parades and Christmas Fun (MAP)

michigan christmas parades

23 AMAZING Michigan Christmas Parades 2022: Holiday Parades and Christmas Fun

Nothing can get you into the holiday spirit like a Michigan Christmas parade: there’s a certain magic in the procession and a captivation of the imagination as colorfully decorated floats go by.

From Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to the far corners of southeast Michigan and everything in between, we’ve rounded up the 18 BEST Christmas and holiday parades in Michigan.

Discover where and when to celebrate the magic of the holiday with these fun parades, we’ve also included some information on don’t-miss things to do with each event. We’ve arranged them in chronological order to help you plan in, just in case you’re looking for a little Michigan holiday getaway.

If you’re looking for a Christmas parade near me, scroll to the bottom for an interactive map of the best Michigan holiday parades.

Michigan christmas parades

Must-See Michigan Holiday Parades in November

Maple Hill Holiday Parade Kalamazoo

Where: Downtown Kalamazoo, MI
When: Saturday, November 19 at 11 a.m.
This beloved holiday event in Kalamazoo returns in 2022, officially ushering in the holiday season, the 59th Annual Kalamazoo Holiday Parade, presented by Maple Hill Auto Group. Join the crowds and watch as some top-notch marching bands, novelty characters, and community groups make their way through downtown streets in a celebration of the holiday season.

PRO-TIP: After the parade, make your way over to This is a Bookstore and Bookbug, one of our favorite independent bookstores in the state, with a cozy, inviting atmosphere and plenty of books to browse.

Battle Creek Christmas Parade

Where: Downtown Battle Creek
When: November 19 at 3:00 p.m.
The Battle Creek Christmas Parade has been produced and presented by the Harper Creek Optimist Club for the last 41 years. The parade coincides with the start of the Battle Creek International Festival of Lights in downtown Battle Creek, Michigan.

Wyandotte Tree Lighting and Christmas Parade

Where: Biddle Avenue, Wyandotte MI
When: Saturday, November 19 at 10:00 a.m.
This is the largest holiday parade in Michigan’s downriver area, the 79th annual Wyandotte Holiday parade promises to be better than ever this year. The parade takes place along Biddle Avenue, in downtown Wyandotte and typically runs approximately one hour.

PRO-TIP: Biddle Avenue parallels the Detroit River. Make your way over to the riverfront Bishop Park and you might see some freighters going by.

Ultimate Michigan gifts guide

Downtown Light Parade Traverse City

Where: Front Street, Traverse City, MI
When: Saturday, November 19 at 6 p.m.
We all know that Traverse City is picturesque in the summer and fall, but did you ever see Front Street all lit up for Christmas? Join Santa Claus, carolers, thousands of lights, and others ushering in the holiday season in beautiful downtown Traverse City in this much-beloved holiday tradition.

PRO-TIP: Get there a bit early for even more fun: Music begins around the tree located at the corner of Cass and Front Streets at 5:30 p.m.

Grand Rapids Santa Parade

When: Downtown Grand Rapids
Where: November 19 at 10:00 a.m. 
Come watch Santa cruise down Monroe Street. This is a great parade for those on the west side of the state. 

Northville Holiday Lighted Parade

Where: Downtown Northville
When: November 19 at 6:30 p.m.
Come check out this great event to kick off the holiday season in Northville. Enjoy great floats, dancers,bands and Santa in downtown Northville. Then go check out the annual tree lighting. This is a great way to get in the holiday spirit.

Grosse Pointe Santa Claus Parade

Where: Kercheval Avenue starting at Lewiston Rd., GP Farms down to Cadieux Rd., GP Park.
When: Friday, November 25th, 2022, 10:00 a.m.
Making his 47th appearance in Grosse Pointe is Santa. This annual holiday parade is an awesome community event and always has a ton of great attractions and entertainers.

Santaland Parade in Garden City MI

Where: Ford Road, Garden City, MI
When: Saturday, November 26 at 10 a.m.
It’s Garden City’s oldest and most prestigious event, the 2022 Garden City Santaland Parade, now in its 61st year. This is one of the most popular holiday events over Thanksgiving weekend and the people of Garden City really turn out for this event, and it’s lots of fun for all ages. Along with watching along the parade route, the parade will be live-streamed on Facebook and YouTube to thousands across the world.

PRO-TIP: Plan to stop at Villa Bakery and load up on some fresh bread and other goodies: this is one of the best Italian bakeries in metro Detroit.

michigan Christmas parade

America’s Thanksgiving Parade in Detroit

Where: Woodward Avenue in Downtown Detroit, MI
When: Thursday, November 24 at 9:00 a.m.
Want to see some of the most fantastic parades floats in the country? Then be sure and head to downtown Detroit early on Thanksgiving morning. Sponsored by Gardner White, this beloved parade is more than a Michigan event: this huge event that kicks off the holiday season is even broadcast on national networks.

Join the throngs of other Parade spectators lining historic Woodward Avenue to watch the larger-than-life floats, colorful, high-flying balloons, thunderous marching bands, and unique performance acts. Wait for Santa, who always arrives toward the end on a spectacular float to the delight of waiting children (and adults, too!)

PRO-TIP: After the parade, take a ride over to Belle Isle, an almost 1,000-acre park in the middle of the Detroit River. This “Gem of Detroit” is a really pretty bit of fresh, open nature in the city, complete with a pond, natures trails, and historic buildings like the Anna Whitcomb Scripps Conservatory.

West Michigan thanksgiving things to do

Fantasy of Lights Parade in Howell, MI

Where: Downtown Howell MI
When: Friday, November 25 at 7 p.m.
This spectacular nighttime parade in downtown Howell includes dozens of illuminated floats, marching bands, over 50 other entries, and of course, Santa. Charming downtown Howell is lit up for Christmas and the shops all decorated, making it a fun evening out for all ages.

PRO-TIP: Come early and wander the fun shops and cafes in downtown Howell. Don’t miss the Chocolate Boutique and Bakery.

Aglow on the Avenue Parade in Ludington, MI

Where: Downtown Ludington, MI
When: Saturday, November 26 at 6 :00 p.m.
The popular west Michigan vacation destination of Ludington is the perfect place to kick off the holiday season. Celebrate the start of the holiday season with an evening parade through Downtown Ludington. See Santa and Mrs. Claus during this glowing event.

PRO-TIP: Make a weekend out of it and spend some time hiking all the shores of Lake Michigan. Head to Stearns Park in downtown Ludington or Ludington State Park and watch the wild and wonderful waves of the lake as they crash onto the shore.

Michigan christmas markets

Annual Christmas Parade in Milford

Where: Downtown Milford, MI
When: Saturday, November 26 at 10:00 a.m.

Stafford’s Downtown Petoskey Holiday Parade

Where: Downtown Petoskey, MI
When: Saturday, November 26 Petoskey, MI at 6:00 p.m.

More Michigan Christmas Parades

58th Annual Marshall Christmas Parade

Where: Downtown Marshall, MI
When: Monday, November 28 at 7:00 p.m.
The 2022 parade in Marshall is special this year, offering a giant THANK-YOU to those that have served us all during the ongoing pandemic. This year’s theme is “Snow Globe Scenes.” You’ll find wonderful music from local bands, gorgeous floats, hot coco from local retailers, and more.

PRO-TIP: If you’ve ever visited quaint Marshall, you know the welcoming small-town charm- it’s almost like stepping back in time. Come early and spend some time wandering the shops and cafes, all deck out for the holidays.

Holland’s Parade of Lights

Where: Downtown Holland, MI
When: Tuesday, November 29 at 6:30 PM
Santa arrives escorted by bands, floats, trucks, and family and friends, all decked out in thousands of sparkling holiday lights! More than 80 entries will illuminate the streets of Downtown Holland during the parade. At the end of the parade, Santa will take time to greet his fans – young and old alike!

The parade begins at 8th Street and Columbia Avenue and continues on to the Eighth Street Market Place, home of the Holiday Kerstmarkt.

PRO-TIP: Don’t leave this fun event until you visited the Holland Kerstmarkt, a Dutch-style winter market that features tons of holiday greenery from local farms; homemade baked goods, and many other homespun goodies. We bought our favorite pair of hand-knit mittens here a few years ago and they’re still just like new!

Frankenmuth Christmas guide

Michigan Holiday Parades in December

Marquette Christmas Parade in Marquette MI

Where: Third Street and Marquette Commons, Marquette, MI
When: Thursday, December 2 at 6:00 p.m.
Think about ushering in the holiday season along the shores of Lake Superior at the Annual Winter Snow Fun Holiday Parade and Annual City of Marquette Tree Lighting. The holiday parade features carolers, bands, illuminated floats, and decorated trucks, including a cement mixer. You may even see people riding their bikes and wearing seasonal lights.

PRO-TIP: You really are in a snowy wonderland when you visit Marquette. Bring your letters to Santa because there may be an opportunity for you to hand-deliver them to helpers in person!

Annual Whootville Christmas Parade in Saugatuck

Where: Downtown Saugatuck, MI
When: Saturday December 3rd at 11:00 a.m.

Annual Reindog Holiday Parade St. Joseph, MI

Where: Downtown St. Joseph MI
When: Saturday, December 3, at 2:00 p.m.
It’s one of our favorite Michigan holiday events if you’re a dog-lover, it will one of yours, too. The St. Joseph event features dressed-up pets and their owners in a variety of holiday garb.

Be prepared to see all kinds of costumes from “Santa Bernards” to “Reindeer Rottweilers” – definitely a must-see event! The event also marks the arrival of Santa. After the parade, children can share their wish lists with Santa at Santa’s House.

Michigan Christmas tree Lightings

Christmas in Ida Festival and Parade of Lights

Where: Ida, Michigan
When: Saturday, December 3 at 7:00 p.m.
Called the “Granddaddy of Light Parades,” the Christmas in Ida Parade of Lights features two hours of illuminated and animated parade entries from Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin, Missouri, and Canada.

PRO-TIP: This tiny little town in southeast Michigan near the Ohio border really does Christmas big, decorating the whole town for the holidays. Come in early and revel in small-town Michigan holiday fun.

Annual Victorian Sleighbell Parade Manistee

Where: Downtown Manistee, MI
When: Saturday December 3 at 5:30 p.m.
Step back in time as you take part in one of Michigan’s most unique holiday celebrations. An entire weekend of excitement in Manistee including the Victorian Sleighbell Parade with horse-drawn entries, bagpipers, reindeer meet and greet, and carolers elegantly dressed in Victorian style attire.

The highlights of the parade are the draft horses pulling a 30-foot Christmas tree down River Street followed by a beautiful display of luminaries, caroling, and the lighting of the tree.

PRO-TIP: The entire Old Christmas Weekend is filled with lovely events including a Festival of Trees. Get there early and simply enjoy the magical experience of the beautifully decorated historic Downtown.

christmas towns in michigan

Christmas in Lights Parade in Iron River

Where: Downtown Iron River, MI
When: Saturday, December 3, time 6 p.m
Christmas in Lights in Iron River is the first Saturday of December and features a lighted parade of more than 30 floats carrying 1000’s of lights followed by a stellar fireworks show.

Rockford’s Santa Parade

Where: Downtown Rockford, MI
When: December 3 at 11:00 a.m.
The jolly man in the red suit will be making an appearance in the Chamber’s Annual Santa Parade. The parade winds through downtown Rockford. The jolly man in the red suit makes Rockford one of his first stops on his world tour. More than 60 floats line the downtown streets to welcome Santa Claus.

PRO-TIP: Located just north of Grand Rapids, this is a fun family-friendly event in West Michigan, featuring free photos, free milk and cookies, children’s activities, Christmas carols, and each child receives a goodie bag after visiting with Santa.

Royal Oak Jingle Lighted Holiday Parade

Where: Downtown Royal Oak
When: December 10th all-day parade at 7:00 p.m.
An all-day event that features a parade with floats along with a holiday market and a cookie crawl. This is a fun all-day event that is a great way to spend some time with the family and get in the holiday spirit

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About the Author-

Cy Nardone is a Content Creator at MyMichiganBeach. He grew up in Grosse Pointe and attended Grosse Pointe South High School. He went on to attend Wayne State then Michigan State University where he majored in Sports Journalism. Cy is a lifelong Detroit sports fan who loves food. Cy looks forward to expanding our Metro Detroit content and hopes to turn you on to a new spot to adventure or eat.