History

Santa Claus Comes To Town

1926

In 1926, Santa and his live reindeer appeared before a crowd of at least 50,000 parade attendees.

Santa Claus Comes To Town

Flying High

1927

A year later—in 1927—Santa flew in on a special plane made just for him.

Flying High

Wonders From Around The World

1933

By 1933, the parade had become a well-established event and a big draw for downtown stores, which stayed open later than their normal hours to take advantage of the huge crowd of shoppers. Santa rode in a sleigh made from rubber tires and the theme was Wonders from Around the World.

Wonders From Around The World

A Break

1942

The parade would see a several year hiatus because of World War II.

A Break

Bright Lights

Bright lights decorated the intersection of 5th Street and Main in 1942. (Photo Courtesy of the Tulsa World)

Bright Lights

Marching Bands

1949

Marching bands have always been a crowd favorite in past and present parades. Here, the Tulsa University Band leads the Tulsa Christmas Parade. (Photo Courtesy of the Beryl Ford Collection and Rotary Club of Tulsa)

Marching Bands

Yuletide Parade

1950

By the 1950s, the parade became known as the Yuletide Parade and boasted at least a dozen floats.

Yuletide Parade

Blast From Tulsa’s Past

1960

Marching bands continue to lead the way. (Photo Courtesy of Scott Hamilton)

Blast From Tulsa’s Past

Parade Postponed

1963

The parade was postponed a week due to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

Parade Postponed

Energy Crisis

1973

During the energy crisis of 1973, the city waited until December 1st to put up Christmas lights downtown—a full 15 days later than normal. They were turned off at 10 PM nightly to conserve electricity. However, this change did not affect the parade, as it was held during the daytime.

Energy Crisis

Iran Hostage Crisis

1980

The start of the 1980 parade featured flags topped with yellow ribbons, reminding parade attendees of the 52 American hostages held in Iran.

Iran Hostage Crisis

Nighttime Parade

1986

For a time, the parade was held during the day to help downtown businesses. In 1986, the parade became held at night when Public Service Company of Oklahoma became a sponsor of the Tulsa Christmas Parade of Light. (Photo and Content Courtesy of Steve Crane/Tulsa World File)

Nighttime Parade

A New Tradition

2014

A group of community and business leaders came together to organize the region’s favorite parade. Collectively they decided to ensure that each year a worthwhile charity would benefit from the funds raised for our Tulsa tradition.

A New Tradition

An Old-Fashined Family Christmas

2015

Nearly a century after the first celebrations began, Tulsa continues the tradition of gathering families together to watch the annual Christmas parade light up Downtown Tulsa.

An Old-Fashined Family Christmas

Christmas Cheer Of Yesteryear

2016

2016

Christmas Cheer Of Yesteryear

And So The Tradition Continues

2019

We will see you this December  as Tulsa continues to add to Christmas parade history!

 

And So The Tradition Continues
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