City to ring in the season with annual Christmas parade, tree lighting ceremony

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It's that special time of year again when Christmas music takes over the airwaves and there's an abundance of holiday cheer to go around.

And we haven't even hit Thanksgiving.

In that joyful holiday spirit and in keeping with tradition, Waukesha is putting on a couple of holiday-themed celebrations this weekend, Friday and Sunday, to welcome the season of giving.

Christmas tree lighting

The festivities kick off around 5:30 p.m. Friday night, Nov. 18 with the annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony in front of the Rotunda, 235 W. Broadway St.

According to the Waukesha Chamber of Commerce, the event will feature remarks from Mayor Shawn Reilly, hot chocolate provided by the Salvation Army and an appearance by Santa Claus.

Attendees will also countdown the tree lighting. The event is scheduled to conclude around 7 p.m.

Christmas parade

The Waukesha Christmas parade steps off around 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 20. The parade is in its 54th year, and is sponsored by Meijer, which opened a supercenter on the city's south side earlier this year.

According to the chamber, this year's theme is "A star-spangled Christmas parade." The theme was chosen "to honor the patriotic nature of this special American holiday."

Several local civic associations, youth groups, businesses and professional entertainers will march through downtown during the parade and herald the arrival of the holiday season.

The parade lines up along White Rock Avenue and proceeds west along Main Street through the city's center. The procession rounds Main onto Wisconsin Avenue and ends just shy of Cutler Park at Maple Avenue.

Meijer, a Michigan-based retailer, was partly responsible for allowing the parade to continue unabated last year - despite a cancellation scare - by donating $5,000 to the event.

R& R Insurance, a longtime operator in the city, contributed another $2,500 to the effort, which made up for a deficit parade organizers were facing when another business announced it could no longer sponsor the event.

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