Christmas Parade Entry Fee

Kinston Christmas Parade.jpg
Kinston Christmas Parade.jpg

Christmas Parade Entry Fee


Pride of Kinston Downtown Revitalization is a non-profit 501-C3. Your entry fee may be tax deductible. If you need a receipt, let us know. The Christmas Parade entry fee is non-refundable. We are happy to provide one. In an effort to inform you as well as possible about expectations surrounding parade day and minimize confusion, please read the following:

Overview of Saturday, December 7th

This year we are happy to announce that after years of a morning parade, our Christmas parade in downtown Kinston, NC returns to the more magical hours of late afternoon/early evening so as to create a more spectacular and memorable parade.

The Parade Theme

This year’s theme is Light the Night. Therefore, we are encouraging participants to be creative with lights on floats and costumes.

This is a three-part, all-day event.

• Part 1 - A Kinston Christmas Downtown. Participating merchants will create special events in their businesses for your downtown enjoyment at our many locally-owned businesses. Also, part of exploring downtown includes public social media voting for the top holiday windows displays.

• Part 2 - Light the Night Parade that departs Grainger Stadium at 2:30 PM.

• Part 3 - Turn on the Holidays takes place right after the parade. Occuring at Pearson Park (Gordon and Mitchell Street) this includes the lighting of our giant Christmas tree and other surprises. This is going to be a very special day in downtown Kinston.

Red Carpet

If Macy’s can do it, so can Kinston. 75’L x 12’W red carpet will be laid on Queen Street in front of the review stand for the comfort of performers, courtesy of Kinston’s Southland Flooring. 2 teams of strong volunteers are needed to help offload the truck pre-parade then load afterwards. Volunteer assistance with this is needed and appreciated.

Prime Seating

Limited, ticketed bleacher seating will be located near the review stand. These are available pre-parade by ticketed reservation only at www.downtownkinston.comfor $10/person. Day of seating (if available) will be $20/person. Some heat and a port a john will be available for these guests.


Horses: Horses will notbe permitted in this year’s parade. All animals permitted in the parade (pets and livestock) must be on a float or wagon and notwalking freely or on a leash.

Your Team Captain

The individual registering (named in this entry form) to be in the parade will be regarded as the Team Captain and the primary contact person. IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE TEAM CAPTAIN TO MAKE ABSOLUTELY SURE YOUR TEAM UNDERSTANDS AND ABIDES BY ALL PARADE REGULATIONS, AND TO MONITOR YOUR TEAM THROUGHOUT THE EVENT. The redesign of Queen Street with diagonal parking means spectators will be closer to floats. Therefore, safety is paramount.


In the best interest of everyone and to help ensure the best parade experience possible is had by all, we ask that you please follow these guidelines and inform your team. Pride of Kinston Downtown Revitalization, Parks and Recreation, and the City of Kinston thank you for your participation and cooperation.



- Deadline for registration is 5PM Monday December 2nd

- Non-registered participants will not be permitted to participate in the parade

- Line up time begins at Noon and is orchestrated by our Parks and Recreation team

- The Parade departs from Grainger Stadium at 2:30 PM

- Each entrant will receive ahead of time an assigned place number for the parade line-up as well as an arrival time at Grainger Stadium for Saturday December 7, located at 400 E Grainger Ave, Kinston, NC.

- It is the responsibility of the entrant and team/crews to arrive on time, and with1.) Proof of entry, 2.)proof of payment, 3.)assigned place number, so keep up with your packet and do not leave it at home. Not having your packet upon arrival could hinder your participation at the discretion of the line-up organizer.

- Late arrivals cannot be guaranteed placement in the parade and will be placed at the end of the parade at the discretion of the line-up organizer.

- Floats must be 100% completed before arrival at Grainger Stadium. Incomplete floats risk disqualification from the parade as determined by the line-up organizer whose decision is final.

- Floats must be constructed so to remain intact for the duration of the route.

- Entrants are encouraged to arrive earlier rather than later in order to facilitate ease of line-up.

- Entry numbers provided in your packets will be affixed by the line-up crewto the left front side of your float or group for the benefit of media crews and judges on the review stand.

- IMPORTANT: Each float and marching group must include some adults walking along side of your group to ensure people back up out of the street to make room for you.

- Because it will be early evening, be extra cautious of spectators along the parade route, particularly children.


- Because the parade theme is Light the Night, and because Neuse News will be broadcasting the parade on Facebook LIVE to over 19 states you will want to make sure spectators and TV crews see you in the evening light, so incorporate lights into your presentation.

Throws, Safety, & Trash

- It is permissible to toss candy and soft goods. ONLY individually FACTORY-wrapped candies, Moon Pies, and such may be tossed. Small soft toys, parade beads, promotional items like T-shirts, koozies, plastic cups and frisbees may also be tossed.

- NOTHING adult in nature or potentially dangerous may be tossed or handed off. Items must be tossed into the crowd, not into the streetso as to prevent children from running out into the parade route.


- Please keep your trash on your float or person and dispose of it properly at the end of the parade.


- Generators used to power lights and sound systems should be installed with as much safety concern as possible and also to not detract from the experience of your entry. A fire extinguisher should be handy.

Performances and Floats

- Because this is an evening parade, you are very strongly encouraged to incorporate lights into your entry.

- Music for performances must be either live or from a PA system, NOT from a car stereo system.

- This is a family Christmas parade, therefore, songs with profanity, offensive or disrespectful lyrics are prohibited.

Motorized Vehicle Stunts

- Mainly because of the redesign of Queen Street that reduced the lanes from 4 to 2, go cart, dune buggy, golf carts, motorcycle and such vehicular stunts and other maneuvers will pose a safety risk for the spectators. Therefore, use extreme caution. You may have to modify your routine. These stunts should not be performed on the carpet laid in the street.

Review Stand

- Floats and performers will stop at the Pride of Kinston Review / Neuse News Stand at the Kinston Enterprise Center, 327 N Queen St (look for the red carpet on Queen St). This is where the Neuse News Media Broadcast crew for Facebook LIVE will be as well as the parade judges. Performers will perform here for the judges and news team.

Lighting Pearson Park after the Parade

- While everyone is invited to Pearson Park to Turn on the Holidays after the parade, Mitchell and Gordon Streets from North to Herritage will be closed to regular vehicular traffic. These blocks are reserved for parking a limited number of pre-selected (during the parade) floats that will be directed to Pearson Park where they will park within the barricades. Lights should be left on so the public can enjoy them.

- Marching groups and school bands are encouraged to continue to Caswell Street, then turn right onto Caswell to get to Pearson Park through the Farmers Market and along the Riverwalk.

- Santa will turn on the lights at Pearson Park and there will be fireworks.

- Crews, please make sure parents and others are made aware of your either returning to Grainger or going to Pearson Park to minimize pick-up confusion.

- Parade participants unable to attend the Pearson Park lighting may return to Grainger Stadium via East Caswell to East Street, to Grainger Stadium (the 2018 route).


- If your crew is competing for an award in the parade, please be at Pearson Park for the announcements and to receive your award.

Judging Criteria

Two $250.00 Light the Nightprizes will be awarded; one each to the Best of the Bestin float and performance categories.

Winning floats: A $250.00 Light the Nightprize will be awarded to the float that best combines the theme of the parade. Second and third place trophies will be awarded for overall creativity.

Winning Performances: A $250.00 Light the Night prizewill be awarded forthe most impressive performance. Second and third place trophies will be awarded for top competitors that best combine skill, costume, and theme of the parade.

Floats: Overall combination of

1. Parade theme and Lighting Effects: float and riders reflect the parade theme

2. Costumes: costumes relate to theme of parade and/or float

3. Audio Effects: how does the entry make use of sound and does the music compliment the float theme

Bands, Dance and Other Performance Groups

1. Uniforms / Appearance: neatness and coordinated, incorporate the parade theme

2. Visual Effects: group maneuver, synchronization and movement including choreography: synchronization, movement, rhythm and alignment, energy, attitude/enthusiasm

3. Sound Quality: in tune, rhythm, and alignment, vocal quality (live performances)

4. Costumes / Appearance: neat, coordinated, incorporate theme of parade

Participants are expected to adhere to these procedures so that we can have the most wonderful Kinston Christmas Parade ever and continue to have evening parades with throws.

Pride of Kinston Downtown Revitalization, the Neuse News Team/Magic Mile Media, parade judges, your community, and our guests and multi-state social media viewers look forward to seeing you in the parade.

We all thank you for your participation in A Kinston Christmas.

It is YOU who help us all reach our goal for having the best commUNITY we possibly can.

Let’s have the most magical parade yet.

Kinston Rocks and so do you!

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