Rome Christmas Parade

FILE — For the first time, Mrs. Claus joined Santa for the ride up Broad Street during last year’s Rome Christmas parade.

It’s finally here!

The Rome Christmas Parade is tonight in Downtown Rome starting at 6:30 p.m. Floats will begin lining up on First Avenue and North Glenn Milner Boulevard before 5:30 p.m. to prepare for judging.

For those attending the parade, here’s a little bit of, hopefully, helpful information.

“We’ll start going out and closing down roads around 5 p.m. ... it will only affect Downtown Rome from Glenn Milner to First Avenue,” Rome Assistant Police Chief Debbie Burnett said.

All downtown main roads, as well as side roads, will be shut down around 6 p.m., including Broad Street — where people will be able to set up lawn chairs to watch the parade go by.

Both Burnett and Downtown Development Authority Parking Manager Becky Smyth highly recommend attendees park in the downtown parking decks. Parade-goers can then find a spot along Broad Street to watch the parade. All parking on Broad Street and the side roads will be shut down.

Burnett said anywhere on Broad Street is the best place to watch the parade, “from First Avenue all the way down to Sixth Avenue.”

Once the parade is over, Rome police will begin directing traffic and slowly reopening roads.

“This year we have about 100 floats,” Christmas Parade Committee member Janet Byington said.

John Schroeder, co-owner of Schroeder’s New Deli, is named Grand Marshal of the Christmas parade.

This year’s parade theme is “Let it be Christmas everywhere!” Byington commented that the theme can be interpreted as international, with floats showcasing how Christmas is celebrated around the world.

The forecast calls for temperatures in the low 40s, low winds, and a 3% chance of precipitation — so make sure to bring your coats, blankets and possibly even a thermos filled with a warm beverage.

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