There will be more than 100 entries in the 46th annual WIVK Christmas Parade this Friday, Dec. 7, in downtown Knoxville – and one NASCAR Hall of Famer is doing his part to add to parade’s gusto by bringing 12 floats.
Rusty Wallace, winner of 55 NASCAR races, will serve as Grand Marshal of this year’s parade. A dozen floats will be ridden by employees of his six namesake automobile dealerships in East Tennessee.
For the 10th year, Greene County Air Force Junior ROTC will lead the parade and its 109 units, which include five marching bands, three high school choirs, multiple dance teams, representatives of the Karns Community Fair’s Fairest of the Fair Pageant, the Cruisin’ Cone vintage ice cream truck, and a replica of the Griswold family’s station wagon from the 1989 film “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” driven by the non-profit organization Care865.
“Tennessee” Tom Miller of WIVK and broadcasting veteran Dino Cartwright will emcee the parade from the bandstand located at the entrance to the Krutch Park Extension.
The WIVK Christmas Parade is presented by Rusty Wallace Automotive Group, with support from the City of Knoxville and WVLT Channel 8.
Parade participants will line up on Howard Baker Jr. Avenue and step off at 6:45 p.m. The parade route proceeds west to Church Street, turns right onto Gay Street, continues several blocks before turning right on Jackson Avenue and concludes at Patton Avenue in the Old City.
Parade attendees are encouraged to arrive early in order to find parking and a location to watch the parade. Free evening and weekend parking is available at all City-owned garages, but visitors should be aware that ongoing construction on the State Street Garage means it fills up fast.
The following road closures and temporary no-parking zones will be in effect:
• The eastbound lane of Howard Baker Jr. Avenue between Hill Avenue and Hall of Fame Drive will be closed from 4:30-8 p.m. Friday.
• Roads will be closed along the parade route, starting at 6:30 p.m. Friday, including Gay Street between Cumberland and Depot avenues. Streets will reopen as soon as the parade has completed its route.
• There will be a temporary no-parking zone on Gay Street between Jackson and Cumberland avenues, starting at 4:30 p.m. Friday.
• Market Street between Union and Church avenues and Union Avenue between Walnut and Gay streets also will be closed during the parade, and temporary no-parking zones will be in effect.
The WIVK Christmas Parade is part of the City of Knoxville’s Christmas in the City, an assortment of festive events, performances and opportunities to treat yourself in downtown Knoxville through Jan. 6, 2019, including: Holidays on Ice open-air skating rink, Elf on the Shelf Adventure scavenger hunt, and the Peppermint Trail. Additional info is available at KnoxvilleTN.gov/Christmas.