Downtown Fresno Christmas Parade Celebrates 89 Years!

Dec 1, 2018 | 2018 Articles, Community, Lorie Lewis Ham

by Lorie Lewis Ham

A highlight of Christmas for many people is the Christmas Parade. Downtown Fresno is celebrating 89 years of Christmas parades this year! We sat down to chat about this year’s parade with Tatevik Hovhannisyan, Events Coordinator at Downtown Fresno Partnership, who oversees and plans the Annual Downtown Fresno Christmas Parade and other DFP core events. She has been with DFP for three

KRL: I understand that this is the 89th parade. How did the parade first get its start?

Tatevik: The Annual Downtown Fresno Christmas Parade started in 1929. It has been an ongoing tradition that has given many Fresnans great memories. For some people and organizations, this has become a tradition. For the longest time, the parade was put together by the City of Fresno; recently, Downtown Fresno Partnership took over to keep this outstanding tradition going.

KRL: Are you doing anything special to celebrate this milestone?

Tatevik: This year DFP is planning weekly activities prior to the parade. We will have Christmas carolers, Santa’s workshop, Downtown Fresno restaurant specials, etc., leading us to the parade day, where we’ll have DJs, delicious Downtown restaurant food, and our awesome parade participants. Next year is the 90th Anniversary, and we will have a very special parade week!


Past Downtown Fresno Christmas parade

KRL: What type of entries do you get in the parade?

Tatevik: We get marching bands, cheerleading groups, football and soccer teams, churches, non-profit organizations, local businesses, etc.

KRL: When do you start planning each year’s parade?

Tatevik: We start planning the parade starting in July.

KRL: How do you choose a theme for the parade and what can you tell me about this year’s theme?


Past Downtown Fresno Christmas parade

Tatevik: We brainstorm different themes and put them out there for the community to vote for the favorite one.

KRL: How many people are involved in making this happen, outside of those who are in the parade?

Tatevik: I am the main person who works on the parade. We have an advising Christmas Committee that got its head start this year. There are around five members of the community who help with the beginning stages of the parade (themes, possible participants, etc.) but most outreach, sponsorship, logistics, social media, and marketing of the event is done by DFP.


Past Downtown Fresno Christmas parade

KRL: Where exactly will it take place and at what time?

Tatevik: This year the parade is going to take place on the second Saturday of December, the 8th, at 1 p.m. The parade starts on Inyo and Broadway.

KRL: How early do people need to get there to make sure they have a spot to watch the parade?

Tatevik: The spectators start arriving early. The parade starts at 1 p.m. this year, therefore, I would suggest that people arrive between 11:30 a.m. and 12:00 noon.

KRL: Where can people find parking?

Tatevik: Downtown Fresno has many parking garages and metered parking spaces around the route. There is the spiral garage, the Tulare garage, and the underground garage on Van Ness.

KRL: Anything you would like to add?

Tatevik: I encourage everyone to come out to the parade and enjoy a day out in our city. We have the finest local small businesses and restaurants here in Downtown Fresno.

You can find a listing of several Valley Christmas events on KRL’s Christmas event page.

Lorie Lewis Ham is our Editor-in-Chief and a contributor to various sections, coupling her journalism experience with her connection to the literary and entertainment worlds. Explore Lorie’s mystery writing at Mysteryrat’s Closet.


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