Guide to the Downtown Appleton Christmas Parade

(WBAY file)
(WBAY file)

APPLETON, Wis. (WBAY) – One of the biggest holiday celebrations in the Fox Valley is Tuesday (Nov. 22) with the 46th Annual Downtown Appleton Christmas Parade.

The primary route is along College Avenue. Appleton Police say floats and other parade participants will enter the route at State Street and continue east on College Avenue to N. Drew Street.

Santa Scamper starts at 6:40 p.m. followed by the parade at 6:55 p.m.

Appleton Police remind residents about the policy for reserving a spot along the parade route. No one can put anything down prior to noon Tuesday. Parade-goers can place chairs or blankets along the route after noon, but someone must physically stay with those items.

The city will collect unattended items. New this year: there will be no chance for parade-goers to get them back.

“That means, no chance to get your items back. Your favorite lawn chair, gone. Grandma’s hand-knit blanket, gone,” says the city website. “We’re not trying to be the Grinch, but we are trying to keep College Avenue open for business during the day. It’s a balancing act and we get not everyone will like it. But the bottom line is, if you want to save a spot, stay with it.”

Police say this is not a BYOB event. That means no alcohol carry-ins are allowed.

Also, no pets are allowed at the parade.

Another change this year: Construction at Jones Park means Santa Scamper will start at State and College. It will go down College to N. Drew Street before ending at City Park.

Appleton Police put together this parade traffic guide:

The following streets, along the parade staging area, will have restricted parking posted, starting at 5:00 AM on November 22, 2016:

  1. State Street (between W. College Avenue and W. Fourth Street)
  2. Fifth Street (between S. Memorial Drive and S. Walnut Street)
  3. Sixth Street (between S. Memorial Drive and S. Walnut Street)
  4. Seventh Street (between S. Memorial Drive and S. Walnut Street)
  5. Eighth Street (between S. Memorial Drive and S. Walnut Street)

College Avenue will have a combination of “No Parking” and “Free Parking” bags on the meters along the avenue.  All vehicles must be removed from College Avenue by 4:00 PM.  Remaining vehicles will be ticketed and towed.

 At 4:30 PM, S. State Street will close for parade staging/setup. Side streets between Fourth and W. College Avenue will close at the same time.  Any vehicles in posted areas will be ticketed and towed.

Also at 5:00 PM, W. Lawrence Street between S. Memorial Drive and S. Superior Street will become a one-way eastbound street.  Vehicles will be directed to enter W. Lawrence Street at S. Memorial Drive and should continue east, following the posted one-way traffic signs.  Residents and employees of businesses in the area are asked to plan accordingly.

During the parade and run, the following streets will be closed to traffic (expect closure to occur at 5:30 PM):

College Avenue (between S. Memorial Drive/N. Richmond Street and Lawe Street)

Oneida Street (south of College Avenue)

State Street, Walnut Street, Superior Street, Appleton Street, Morrison Street, Durkee Street and Drew Street (south and north of College Avenue)

Division Street (north of W. College Avenue)

Following the parade, the area around City Park is utilized for pick-up and tear-down for parade participants and units.  As a result, the following streets in that area will experience higher than normal levels of traffic (these streets will also have restricted parking before, during and after the event):

  1. Franklin Street
  2. Drew Street
  3. Union Street
  4. North Street
  5. Eldorado Street
  6. Bateman Street

A bypass route has been planned for northbound motorists on South Oneida Street (crossing the Skyline Bridge).  It utilizes W. Prospect Avenue and diverts traffic to S. Memorial Drive.  Northbound traffic does have the ability to travel to the city parking ramps on the south side of College Avenue.

It is suggested to motorists passing through the area to avoid the aforementioned areas, if possible, between 5 PM and 10 PM.