WATERTOWN — The city’s annual Christmas parade and downtown tree lighting ceremony will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday on Public Square.
The festivities will begin on the north side of Public Square with a musical performance at 5:45 p.m. by the award-winning Northern Blend Chorus, followed by the Stage Notes, a local theater company for students.
This year’s theme will be Snowtown USA, the city’s winter festival.
At 6:30 p.m., the annual Christmas parade, featuring a special visit by Santa Claus, will start on Black River Parkway. It will begin at Court Street, traverse the north side of Public Square and leave the square via Mill Street and Black River Parkway.
Following the parade around 7:15 p.m., Mayor Joseph M. Butler Jr. and members of the City Council will officially kick off the holiday season with a countdown to turn on the city’s holiday music and light display.
After the parade and tree lighting, Santa and Mrs. Claus will greet children in the Public Square gazebo.
Hot cocoa will be served free of charge, courtesy of the Downtown Business Association.
The music and light display features thousands of LED lights that are synchronized to a variety of holiday songs and will include three new songs this year. The music and light display will run every 30 minutes throughout the holiday season.
Beginning at 3 p.m. on the day of the event, all travel lanes on the north side of Public Square will be closed to traffic and on-street parking will be restricted.
Temporary barricades, traffic cones and signage will be placed, and a detour route will be established for the event. Parking will be available at one of the many city parking lots in the downtown area.