The 2022 Lakeland Christmas Parade

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Check out what you can expect for the annual Lakeland Christmas Parade.

Mr. and Mrs. Claus sit behind plastic reindeer in a bright red sleigh.

It’s not a Lakeland Christmas Parade without Mr. and Mrs. Claus.

Photo via @lakelandgov

Call Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen, because the Lakeland Christmas Parade is back on Thursday, Dec. 1 at 7 p.m.

The holiday gem of Swan City will kick off its 41st run with a fireworks display over Lake Mirror. The parade will leave from the RP Funding Center and travel down Lemon Street toward downtown, wind around Lake Mirror, head up Orange Street, and eventually end back at the RP Funding Center after a 1.25-mile course. View the parade route here.

From top to bottom, the parade takes anywhere from one and a half to two hours. We know everyone has their favorite spot to cozy up along the parade route, but please remember that the City of Lakeland asks residents to refrain from placing their chairs until the day of the parade. Pro tip: When you’re ready to grab your spot, use the city’s interactive map or our guide to find parking.

Made possible every year in part by the Junior League of Greater Lakeland, this year’s theme is “Christmas Past, Present, and Future,” so while the float lineup is (as always) kept top secret until parade day, you can expect floats reflective of the theme.

Parade participants will compete to win:

  • Most outstanding band
  • Most original float
  • Best professional float
  • Best youth or educational float
  • Best community float
  • Best business float
  • Best theme float
  • Judge’s choice

And, of course, to kick off the holiday season, Santa and Mrs. Claus will wrap up the parade.

If you can’t make it in person, the parade will be televised on the City of Lakeland’s Facebook Page, Lakeland Gov TV, Spectrum Channel 643, FiOS Channel 43, and Comcast Channel 5.

Looking for parking, food, or street closure information? The City of Lakeland’s full parade guide can be found here.