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Watertown’s holiday parade set for Friday

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The city will kick off the holiday season Friday with the annual holiday parade and tree lighting.

The holiday festivities will begin at 5:30 p.m. on the north side of Public Square with a musical performance by the Jefferson Singers from Jefferson Community College. At 5:45 p.m., the annual holiday parade, featuring more than 40 entries, including a special guest from the North Pole, will travel though Public Square.

The parade route will start in the J.B. Wise Parking Lot, travel on Black River Parkway, enter Public Square at Mill Street and end in the Court Street parking lot.

About 6:30, Mayor Jeffrey E. Graham and the City Council will take part in an official countdown to turn on the holiday music and light display. The display features thousands of LED lights, which are synchronized to a variety of holiday songs. It will run every 30 minutes each day from 4:30 to 10 p.m. from Friday until Jan. 3.

After the parade and tree lighting, Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus will greet children in the Public Square gazebo until 7:30 p.m.

During the event, the DBA will sponsor the “All Decked Out” Christmas shopping promotion. Starting Tuesday and lasting through Saturday, many downtown businesses will remain open late, offering deals for holiday shopping needs.

The DBA also is asking holiday revelers to donate nonperishable food items to a food drive to benefit the Watertown Urban Mission. Several collection bins will be located near the main stage during the parade and tree lighting.

Beginning at 3 p.m. the day of the event, all travel lanes on the north side of Public Square will be closed to traffic and on-street parking will be restricted. Black River Parkway, Court Street and portions of Mill Street will be closed to traffic beginning about 5:15 p.m.

For more information, call parade chairman Stanley E. Zaremba at 416-1087.

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