Parade of Lights

WHEN: November 27, 2021, 6:00 PM (pre-parade activities start at 3:00 PM)
WHERE: Downtown Champaign
You’ll be doing alright with your Christmas of white / But we’ll have a blue, blue, blue, blue Christmas.

Downtown Champaign will be illuminated in hues of blue, overtaken by campy Elvis Presley décor, or both this November 27th for return of the 21st Annual Parade of Lights presented by Christie Clinic. This beloved community event kicks off the shop local holiday season in the heart of downtown Champaign and will feature lighted floats, marching bands, and live entertainment. Pre-parade activities begin at 3:00 p.m. and will include visits with Santa, horse and carriage rides, a candy crawl for kids, and musical entertainment. New this year is the kids’ shoebox float display and parade after-party. The parade theme this year is Blue Christmas/Holidays.

The Champaign Center Partnership continues to carefully and thoughtfully plan our events based on public health recommendations and requirements, and will plan the Parade of Lights and associated activities with these in mind. We kindly ask that participants and spectators comply with current public health guidelines. Please respect other’s levels of comfort and be kind to one another. With heavy hearts, we will be cancelling the lighting of the Tree of Lights after the parade to keep crowd densities down and candy distributed during the parade will be off limits. Float entries are welcome to donate candy to a new candy crawl instead.

Activity Map and Parade Route

Get Involved

There are so many ways you can get involved with the Parade of Lights this year! We are grateful to those who are looking to make this event magical by being in the parade, lending your time, or contributing to the event. Click the buttons below to learn more about ways you can get involved.

Enter Parade of Lights Float

Enter a decorated vehicle or float for this year's parade. Limited to 65 floats. Float participants are expected to comply with all CDC rules.

Volunteer for
Parade of Lights

Volunteers make the holiday magic happen. Sign up to help make this event possible! All volunteers will be expected to comply with all CDC Guidelines.

Shoebox Float Display & Competition

In 2020, we created a new tradition with our shoebox Parade! This year, we want to keep the tradition alive by lets kids and adults create shoebox floats that we will put on display throughout downtown storefronts during the holiday season and will have a competition  with prizes for the best floats! Sponsored by Live Action Games.

Events & Festivities

Pre-parade activities and festivities will give the whole family something to do! See Santa Claus himself, take a carriage ride, get specialty parade viewing seating, or attend our new after-party.


With VIP tickets you'll gain access to an uninterrupted viewing of the parade as well as exclusive food and beverages.

(Neil Street Blues)

With VIP tickets you'll gain access to an uninterrupted viewing of the parade as well as exclusive food and beverages.

Horse & Carriage Rides

You and the whole family can enjoy a scenic tour of downtown Champaign on a festive old timey horse and carriage.

Visit With

Get into the Christmas spirit with your little ones while you chow down on some delicious cookies and snap a pic with Saint Nick!

Sponsored by Hickory Point Bank & Trust.



Gather all your little ones for our first ever candy crawl! Crawl to a number of businesses around downtown to collect treats and sweets!

Sponsored by Tyson’s Disposal.


Thanks to our Sponsors

Christie Clinic
Feldkamps Towing
Feldkamps West
Gentle Giant Holiday Lighting
Hickory Point Bank & Trust
Ryan Dallas Real Estate
Central Roofing LLC
Tyson's Disposal
Style and Grace Salon & Day Spa
The Venue CU
City of Champaign
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers 601
Live Action Games
Grifols Talecris Plasma Resources
Carpenters Local 243
First Mid Bank & Trust
Martin Hood LLC
Midwest Construction Rentals
Berns, Clancy, and Associates
Commerce Bank

Tom Manolakes

Wells Fargo Advisors