18 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.
If you’re looking for a Christmas parade near me, scroll to the bottom for an interactive map of the best Michigan holiday parades.
Must-See Michigan Holiday Parades
Maple Hill Holiday Parade Kalamazoo
Downtown Kalamazoo, MI
This beloved holiday event in Kalamazoo returns in 2021, officially ushering in the holiday season, the 58th 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.
Wyandotte Tree Lighting and Christmas Parade
Saturday, November 20 at 10:00 a.m.
This is the largest holiday parade in Michigan’s downriver area, the 78th 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.
Downtown Light Parade Traverse City
Front Street Traverse City
Saturday, November 20 at 6:30 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.
Santaland Parade in Garden City MI
Woodward Avenue Detroit
Saturday, November 27 at 10 a.m.
It’s Garden City’s oldest and most prestigious event, the 2021 Garden City Santaland Parade, now in its 60th 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.
America’s Thanksgiving Parade in Detroit
Thursday, November 25 at 9:00 a.m.
Woodward Avenue in Downtown Detroit
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.
Fantasy of Lights Parade in Howell, MI
Downtown Howell MI
Friday, November 26 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
Saturday, November 27 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.
Annual Christmas Parade in Milford
Saturday, November 27 at 10:00 a.m.
Downtown Milford, MI
Annual Whootville Christmas Parade in Saugatuck
Saturday, November 27 at 1:00 p.m.
Downtown Saugatuck, MI
Stafford’s Downtown Petoskey Holiday Parade
Saturday, November 27 Petoskey, MI at 6:00 p.m.
Downtown Petoskey, MI
More Michigan Christmas Parades
57th Annual Marshall Christmas Parade
Saturday, November 29 at 7:00 p.m.
Downtown Marshall, MI
The 2021 parade in Marshall is special this year, offering a giant THANK-YOU to those that have served us all during the ongoing pandemic. The theme, “Giving Has No Season,” salutes everyone in the community who serves others.
This theme includes medical personnel, teachers, service club members, volunteers, restaurant and hotel workers, delivery people, law enforcement, and more. It promises to be a festive way to give thanks to this much-appreciated part of the community.
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
Tuesday, November 30 at 5:30 PM
Downtown Holland, MI
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!
Marquette Christmas Parade in Marquette MI
Thursday, December 2 at 6:00 p.m.
Third Street and Marquette Commons
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 Reindog Holiday Parade St. Joseph, MI
Saturday, December 4, at 3:00 p.m.
Downtown St. Joseph MI
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.
Christmas in Ida Festival and Parade of Lights
Saturday, December 4 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
Saturday December 4 at 5:30 p.m.
Downtown Manistee, MI
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 in Lights Parade in Iron River
Saturday, December 4, time TBD
Downtown Iron River, MI
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
December 4, 2021 11:00 a.m.
Downtown Rockford, MI
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.