Join us on December 8th, 2024 for Christmas on Green Street!
Join the City of Gainesville on the second Sunday in December for our annual Christmas on Green Street celebration! This magical event includes a parade of antique cars, holiday floats, marching bands, and community groups starting at the Gainesville Civic Center and continuing all the way down Green Street!
Before the parade, Green Street will be closed while people visit the historic homes and enjoy musical groups performing on front porches, strolling magicians, face painters, balloon artists, storyteller, jugglers, Santa Claus, miniature train rides, and food trucks. The night will end with the Christmas on Green Street Parade and the traditional Lighting of the Rotary Tree at approximately 6:30 p.m. at the intersection of Green Street and West Academy Street!
Schedule for 2024!
We are moving activities BEFORE the parade, and tightening up requirements for floats and parade entries to ensure they are all festive and safe!
- 1pm: Street closures
- 2pm: Floats / Cars begin lining up for parade.
- 2-6pm: Food Trucks Open
- 2:30-4:30pm: Activities and Performances at the Historic Homes on Green Street.
- 4:30pm: Walking Groups Stage at Civic Center, Floats / Cars get ready, Roads clear of pedestrians
- 5pm: Christmas Parade Begins, immediately followed by Rotary Tree Lighting to end the event.
- 7pm: Roads re-open
To be honest: It’s tricky! While there are a few parking lots and decks nearby with handicap accessible parking, all of them still require walking a block or two to get to the parade route. There are a lot of side street parking options along the route, and people typically flock in from everywhere!
With an anticipated 14,000 people in attendance and road closures starting at 1pm, we suggest planning ahead, arriving early, wear good shoes and dress warm! Consider whether you need to be near restrooms, if you have a student performing at a specific house before the parade, if you plan to grab a bite downtown after the parade, etc.
Here are a few parking areas to consider:
- City Park: Glenwood Drive NE
- North Parking Deck: 100 Brenau Ave NE
- Hall County Parking Facility: 225 Green Street SE
- Main Street Parking Deck: 301 Main Street SW
Note that First Baptist Church and the Civic Center are Staging Zones for the Parade!
This event is presented by Main Street Gainesville, a program focusing on economic vitality through Historic Preservation in our downtown commercial districts.
Activities Map from 2023:
Road Closure / Staging Maps from 2023:
Aside from the Civic Center’s restrooms, which are available from 2-6pm, porto-johns are located throughout the parade route, as notated on the layout map. This is triple the amount from last year’s event! Should a historic home offer an open house, please be respectful of their available, or not-available, restroom options. These historic homes often have very old plumbing situations and cannot host thousands of visitors in an afternoon! Additionally, there are public restrooms next to the Main Street Parking Deck, which is the largest, free parking deck just a few blocks from the parade ending spot, located at 301 Main Street SW.
Etiquette for Open Houses in Historic Homes:
These historic homes are mostly occupied by local businesses. They are not museums, and are not normally available for full tours and may very well need to keep certain rooms off limits to visitors for business confidentiality purposes. Should a historic home offer an open house, please be respectful of their available, or not-available, options for viewing the house, as well as restroom options.
Enhance your experience at this event by downloading a copy of the Historic Green Street Walking Tour! This will give you a full look inside all historic homes, even if they are not hosting an open house.
Participate in the Parade!
There are new rules and regulations for parade entries this year, so watch this video for a snapshot of what you need to know!
Helpful Links for Participating Groups:
- Parade Letter to All Vehicles in the Parade (Mailed with Window Decal)
- Check in Map for All Vehicles in the Parade (Mailed with Window Decal)
- Application Rules, Requirements, and Regulations (As Listed on Application)
- Walking Group Staging Information
Local School Performances:
While some schools have performed at the same place for years, Main Street Gainesville coordinates local school performances with the historic homes and can assist with pairing school choruses, jazz bands, and performers as spacing permits. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Christmas on Green Street’s Food Court is coordinated by a local business and is not open for applications. There is not a coordinated space for retail vendors at this event. All non-profits, businesses, and entertainment located at each Historic home is coordinated with the local property/business owners.
2023 Food Trucks:
Green Street Businesses:
While we have a list of repeat participants we have coordinated with in the past, we realize new businesses pop up or may have been missed in previous years. Any Business along on the parade route, from Historic Green Street at the Civic Center down to E.E. Butler through Spring Street, is welcome to submit their information to be involved in the planning and open house / activities of the event. CLICK HERE TO SUBMIT OPEN HOUSE DETAILS for event layout map or email email@example.com for more information.
The History and Lighting of the Native Holly Tree:
In 1934, the Gainesville Garden Club dedicated the Park at Green, E.E. Butler Parkway, and Academy Streets to the memory of Mary John Dunlap Mitchell, a Rotary club member active in local improvement projects. Today the Rotary Club of Gainesville maintains this open space for the benefit of the community. The Rotary Club regularly prunes the native holly tree (Ilex opaca) and provides year around landscape services to this triangular park space. The Rotary Club furnishes the Christmas Tree Lights along with the City of Gainesville providing the workforce to add and remove the lights each year. The lighting of the Native Holly Tree, which heralds the Christmas season, has been a tradition of the Rotary Club of Gainesville since the first lighting in December 1982. As part of the Christmas on Green Street celebration, the Rotary Club will end the parade, just ahead of Santa on the Fire Truck, and together they will count down the lighting of the tree as they arrive to it’s location as the grand finale of the parade.
Interested in Becoming a Sponsor for Christmas on Green Street?