Can you really call a holiday a holiday if it doesn't have its own parade?
A divisive question for sure, but one we thankfully don't have to quibble over in Atlanta. Here, holidays always come with a parade. That's even the case with some of our football games, too.
RELATED: Here’s your complete guide to downtown Atlanta attractions, dining and more
To make your parade planning a little easier this holiday season, here's a list of the city's top holiday parades.
Washington Huskies marching band heads down John Portman Blvd. during the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl parade Saturday, December 31, 2016, in Atlanta Ga. STEVE SCHAEFER / SPECIAL TO THE AJC
Photo: Steve Schaefer
Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Parade Presented by Lions Club International.
Date: 8 a.m. Jan. 1
General route: Downtown, from Peachtree Street and Baker Street to the World Congress Center
Dubbed "the official kickoff for game day," the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Parade brings revelry to downtown Atlanta. Starting at Peachtree Street, marching bands, beauty queens, floats and cheerleaders will make their way down Baker Street to the World Congress Center, ending at the FanFest, a family-friendly attraction for fans of both teams. And if the parade, FanFest and bowl game itself aren't enough football, the College Football Hall of Fame is only a short walk away.
Kirubel Erassa (pictured) won the men's 5K. Lauren Sara won the women's event. Geraint Davis of Suwanee, who was last year's second-place finisher, won the half marathon with a time of 1:10:54. About 12,000 racers bundled up Thursday morning to take part in the Thanksgiving Day Half Marathon events in downtown Atlanta. The half marathon, 5K, one mile and 50-meter dash started and finished at Turner Field. Jill Braley of Rome broke the tape for the women in 1:18:47. She was also the female champion in 2013. BOB ANDRES / BANDRES@AJC.COM
Photo: Bob Andres
Previous holiday parades this season:
Thanksgiving Day Half Marathon & 5K.
Date: 7:30 a.m. Nov. 24
General route: Begins at Turner Field and winds its way around town.
What is a parade if not a bunch of people walking (and running, in this case) on closed city streets? We submit that the Atlanta Track Club's Thanksgiving Day Half Marathon & 5K – a tradition for thousands of runners and volunteers each November – definitely counts as a parade.
Now that that's settled, here are the details: The route meanders around city landmarks from its starting point of Turner Field, passing by Centennial Olympic Park, Atlantic Station, Piedmont Park and Oakland Cemetery before heading back to the Ted. And there's something for the whole family, with 5K, 50 meter dash and one mile options. There are awards for every age range. The Atlanta Track Club is partnering with the Atlanta Mission to collect a ton of clothing, literally, for those in need. Participants are encouraged to bring clothes to donate or donate their warmup gear. Interested, but haven't signed up yet? Registration is open until Nov. 16.
Newnan High School's Dalton Yarbrough (left) plays the snare drum as he marches down Peachtree Street during the 33rd annual Children's Christmas Parade in Atlanta on Saturday, December 7, 2013. Over 300,000 people were expected to attend the parade that wound its way down Peachtree Street in Midtown. Proceeds from the parade help to fund programs and equipment to serve the patients and families at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. JONATHAN PHILLIPS / SPECIAL
Photo: Jonathan Phillips
The Children's Christmas Parade.
Date: 10:30 a.m. Dec. 3
General route: Midtown, starting at Peachtree Street and 16th Street and ending at Peachtree Street and 5th Street.
The largest holiday parade in the Southeast, the Children's Christmas Parade has been an Atlanta tradition since 1981. Each December, the parade marches down Peachtree with giant balloons, elaborate floats, costumed characters, marching bands and, of course, Santa Claus himself. Although you're welcome to bring folding chairs to sit along the parade route, you also can buy bleacher seats from Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. And if you can't make it in person, don't worry: The parade is broadcast live on WSB-TV and replayed throughout the season.
Emily Grondin, 4, sits on her father Robert's shoulders during the Peach Bowl parade in downtown Atlanta Friday, Dec. 30, 2005. They are from Madison, Ala. and say they are big SEC fans who buy tickets every year, regardless of who will be in the Peach Bowl
Photo: Elissa Eubanks