RICHMOND, Va. — The 36th annual Dominion Energy Christmas Parade kicked off on Broad Street in Richmond Saturday morning.
The parade, which began at 10 a.m., ran between the Science Museum of Virginia and 7th Street.
Commander Paul Galanti, one of Richmond’s most notable living veterans who was held as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam from 1966 to 1973, served as the parade’s grand marshal.
“This year’s theme is ‘Inspiring Stories,’ and there isn’t a more inspiring person to honor and celebrate,” Parade Director Beth Karrer said.
This year’s lineup featured more than 100 units including themed floats, giant helium balloons, college marching bands, costumed dancers, a military tribute, and Legendary Santa courtesy of Children’s Museum of Richmond.
WTVR CBS 6 broadcast the parade live on television and streamed the parade on WTVR.com.
Cheryl Miller, Rob Cardwell, Reba Hollingsworth, Nikki-Dee Ray, Kristen Luehrs and Greg McQuade shared hosting duties.
“The Christmas spirit and the fellowship here is palpable,” Cardwell said during the two-hour broadcast. “You couldn’t ask for a more perfect day for a Christmas parade.”
One highlight of the parade was when Greg McQuade climbed atop one parade float to meet Santa and the Snow Queen.
“I love coming down here to Richmond every year,” Santa said. “I’ve been coming here since 1936. It’s so cool!”
“I think he’s an honorary elf,” Cardwell said in response to McQuade’s childlike exuberance.
The parade will also be rebroadcast on CBS 6 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Christmas Day.
The tradition attracted tens of thousands of people from across the state and thousands more tuned in for the TV and online broadcasts.