Victoria residents are accustomed to spending the first weekend in December sitting along the streets of downtown and watching a festive Christmas parade pass by, but this year, to ensure residents can enjoy the parade while keeping a safe distance from each other, the parade instead will sit along a street as the residents pass by.
Parks & Recreation will host a reverse Christmas parade Dec. 5 in Riverside Park. The stationary parade will be open for public viewing from 6 to 9 p.m. and will be followed by a fireworks show at 9 p.m. Floats will be stationed along McCright Drive, and residents may enter at Red River Street and Memorial Drive and drive north through the park to view the displays.
“We hope that hosting this yearly event, with appropriate precautions in place, will help residents regain a sense of normalcy while celebrating the holidays,” said Parks & Recreation Director Jason Alfaro. “Riverside Park gives us enough space to host the event with social distancing, and the fireworks this year will make it even more festive.”
Traffic along the parade route will be one-way during the parade and the fireworks show. Spectators will not be allowed to stop during the parade and must drive continuously so residents behind them can enter the park. The Victoria Police Department will be present to facilitate the flow of traffic.
Riverside Park will close to the public at 1:30 p.m. in preparation for the parade. Entrances to the park will be barricaded during this time. The entrance to the parade route at Red River Street and Memorial Drive and the exit at McCright Drive and Vine Street will reopen permanently at 6 p.m.
After the parade, residents will be able to park their cars to watch the pyrotechnics they missed this summer. When the City postponed its Fourth of July fireworks show, it retained the right to reschedule within 180 days at no additional cost. The fireworks show is sponsored by the Hartman family, who sponsor the Fourth of July fireworks show each year.
Signs in the park will indicate locations where residents can park to view the fireworks in addition to the normally available parking spaces within Riverside Park. Parking will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Residents will not be allowed to park on the road.
Residents are encouraged to download the Sky Wonder Pyrotechnics app to listen to music synced to the fireworks show. To view demonstration videos of the synchronized fireworks, visit www.skywonderpyro.com/videos. Cars will need to be turned off during the show.
To watch a livestream of the parade and the fireworks show, visit “City of Victoria, Texas – Government” on Facebook the day of the event. For updates before and during the event, visit “Victoria Parks and Recreation” on Facebook.
To register a float for the parade, fill out the application form at www.victoriatx.gov/parks. Space is limited, and applications must be received by 11:59 p.m. Nov. 20.