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ASHEVILLE, NC (WLOS) –
The Asheville Downtown Association announced that Sparky the Fire Dog will serve as Grand Marshal for the 75th annual Asheville Holiday Parade.
The parade, presented by WNC’s Bojangles, returns to downtown Asheville on Saturday, November 20 at 11 a.m.
ORGANIZERS “CAUTION AWESOME” ABOUT THE RETURN OF THE ASHEVILLE HOLIDAY PARADE
Organizers say Sparky is commemorating 70 years as the National Fire Protection Association’s educational mascot. The Grand Marshal entry is sponsored by Apple Tree Honda.
“I’m honored to be the Grand Marshal of the Asheville Holiday Parade because I know it will help me get my message across to the importance of fire safety to the many children and families here in Western North Carolina,” Sparky barked.
This year’s parade will include decked floats, adoptable pets from area rescue organizations, a Deerfield sponsored honorary veteran’s float, performances, and Santa and Mrs. Claus sponsored by the NC Arboretum’s Winter Lights. A list of the parade entries can be found here.
Organizers say that through a partnership with iHeart Asheville, the parade will also honor local key workers with a Hometown Heroes chariot. Residents can nominate a key worker who did everything during the pandemic. visit 99kisscountry.iheart.com submit a nomination.
“We knew we couldn’t miss the opportunity to put key employees in the spotlight; the teachers, first responders, medical staff, grocery and pharmacy workers, plumbing workers, delivery drivers. All the people who have kept us going for the past year and a half, “Meghan Rogers, executive director of the Asheville Downtown Association, said in a press release Thursday.
The Asheville Downtown Association said it is monitoring COVID-19 trends and consulting local health and medical officials and will follow all guidelines from the CDC, the state of North Carolina, Buncombe County and the city of Asheville.
The parade is free and open to the public. The main parade route is Biltmore Avenue between Charlotte Street and Patton Avenue and Patton Avenue from Biltmore to South French Broad. The official performance stop is on the corner of Biltmore and Patton Avenues, with other vantage points along Biltmore and Patton Avenues.
Parking is available on the City of Asheville and Buncombe County’s parking decks, as well as on private decks and parking lots throughout downtown. Several streets are closed or affected by the parade. Participants are encouraged to use ART public transport, bike, or walk to the parade to avoid traffic jams.
The Asheville Holiday Parade is produced by the Asheville Downtown Association in association with the City of Asheville.
Sponsors 2021 include: Presenting Sponsor Bojangles of WNC, Explore Asheville, Ingles Markets, Apple Tree Honda, The North Carolina Arboretum’s Winter Lights, Deerfield Retirement Community, Sun Soo Martial Arts, Kudzu Brands, Aloft Asheville Downtown, Kimpton Hotel Arras, WLOS ABC 13, Star 104.3, 99.9 Kiss Country, Mix 96.5, 98.1 The River, Go Mini’s, Asheville Color & Imaging and IMA Photo & Images.