Dayton Children’s Parade in Lights to be held as drive-thru event this year

Dayton Children’s Parade in Lights to be held as drive-thru event this year

DAYTON, Ohio — We’re not even to Halloween yet but the Downtown Dayton Partnership is already thinking about red, white and green!

“We know those moments for families make the holidays feel like the holidays,” said Allison Swanson who works with the Downtown Dayton Partnership.

If there’s anyone who knows about the magic of the Dayton Holiday Festival and Lights, it’s Swanson.

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“I was a kid growing up in Troy, coming to the parade and seeing Santa,” Swanson said.

But with the pandemic, Swanson said the group knew they needed to find a safer way to hold the parade and Grande Illumination.

“This year we have more space because everything will be stationary that we want to fill with lights and creativity,” Swanson said.

During an ordinary parade, families would line the streets while the floats went by down the road. This year, however; it will be the opposite.

Families will stay in their cars and they’ll drive down the road lined with the floats. For families who do not have cars, shuttle services will be offered.

And there are now more opportunities for families to get involved. The Downtown Dayton Partnership is still looking for more ideas for floats and displays for this year’s show.

Although they ask that the displays not be political or religious, Swanson said they felt this would be a good opportunity for families to show off some positive creativity.

“We know that not only this year with the virus in our communities but the past several years in Dayton have been rough so we knew from the get go when we were planning it for 2020 that we needed to bring that holiday tradition and that holiday cheer in any way possible,” Swanson said.

If you would like to submit an idea, you can click here.

The 30-minute virtual Grande Illumination special will air on WHIO-TV, Channel 7 at 7 p.m. on Friday, November 27th. The Dayton Drive-thru Children’s Parade in Lights is set for 6 p.m. until 10 p.m. on Saturday, November 28th.