A CHRISTMAS JOYRIDE
For more than 90 years, the Tulsa Christmas Parade has entertained thousands of families as it winds through the streets of downtown Tulsa. With a theme of A Christmas Joyride, this year’s 94th Tulsa Christmas Parade, presented by American Waste Control, will continue with the tradition of bringing merriment to the masses. The parade will be held on December 12th with the time to be announced at a later date.
While the parade’s organizers share in the hope of many that come December 12th, a traditional parade will be viable, plans are currently being made for a drive-through parade. A drive-through parade will allow parade goers to make their way down the historic route from the safety and comfort of their vehicles.
“Our message to Tulsa is that the parade is happening! We want to make sure that each Tulsan will have the opportunity to enjoy their favorite Christmas moments. Whether it ends up being a drive-through parade or the traditional parade, we want to invite all of Tulsa to come out”, said Paul Ross, Vice President of American Waste Control.
Parade entries are open as of today at https://tulsachristmasparade.org/
Statement from Tulsa Christmas Parade Director Jessica Gullo
Our mission as the organizers of the award-winning Tulsa Christmas Parade is to continue the over 90-year tradition of celebrating Christmas as a community. When the parade committee met in January this year to begin plans for the 2020 Tulsa Christmas Parade, none of us could have foreseen the events that would soon unfold, impacting the Tulsa community and communities all over the world. Our hearts are with the families affected by this unprecedented time in which we live.
While we cannot erase the hardships experienced by our community, our country, and the entire world in recent months, this year, more than ever, our goal is to offer everyone a place to find encouragement and joy. Our hope is to help people rediscover their joy each year, and we invite the community to remember that Christmas is a time to celebrate and experience the true spirit of the season: peace on earth and goodwill toward all people.
As events around the world are cancelled, we understand both the difficult decisions of event organizers around the globe, and the disappointment from communities eager to come together again. We have no idea what the state of events and gatherings will be like in December. Still, we do know that one way or another, Christmas will be celebrated in Tulsa. After meeting with city officials and other leaders of our community, and taking into consideration many critical factors, we feel the best option for this year is to make plans for a drive-through parade.
On behalf of the parade committee, I would like to thank our presenting sponsor American Waste Control, and all our sponsors, without whom the parade could not happen. Special acknowledgment also goes to parade supporter Tulsa Pop Kids for inspiring me with their event, The Drive-Thru Experience, which is proof that a drive-through parade is possible.
We know there will be many questions, and many answers will come as plans unfold. We have provided more information below and will continue to update everyone through our website and social media as we continue to develop this year’s parade.
What is a drive-through parade?
A drive-through parade is new to us as well! Our plans include lining up the parade entries of floats, balloons, and musical entries, along the regular route, with friends and families driving by from the safety of their vehicles. We are still planning all of the many pieces that will be necessary to make this event a success.
Stay tuned to our website and social media as we continue to make exciting announcements about all these changes!
Why are you deciding this now instead of waiting until closer to the parade?
Like many large events, Tulsa Christmas Parade takes many months of planning. We have decided we would rather make plans now for a drive-through parade to decrease the likelihood of canceling the entire parade closer to December.
Why aren’t you just going on with the parade as normal?
We understand attending the Tulsa Christmas Parade is a much-loved tradition and part of that excitement includes gathering with the thousands of people waiting in anticipation downtown. However, we feel it is our responsibility to offer a safe event, and understand many people may not be comfortable with large crowds this December. We are making plans to allow the greatest number of people to enjoy the parade as possible while still being responsible for protecting families and our community.
Why aren’t you just canceling or going virtual like everyone else?
We understand that many people will still want to come out for a parade as virtual events just aren’t the same. With that in mind, we set out to find a way to make that safely happen. Earlier this year, we attended a drive-through event put on by Tulsa Pop Kids and were impressed by the event’s attendance and both the concept and their excellent execution. Members of our committee have also been a part of affinity groups lead by the International Festivals & Events Association and discovered the majority of parades are being canceled. After much consideration and research, we decided that due the size of our event and the footprint already in place with the staging and route, we think Tulsa Christmas Parade is an ideal event that presents the opportunity for a drive-through parade in downtown Tulsa.