8 of America's most dazzling holiday parades

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8 of America's most dazzling holiday parades

It's time to dig up your jingle bells and festive decor− the holidays are right around the corner!

Along with merry times and rosy cheeks, parades arrive to keep you entertained. 

There are floats and boats dripping with shimmering lights, balloonicles (balloons on bicycles) and photo ops with Santa and Mrs. Claus.

Here are eight of the most dazzling and spirited holiday parades across America:

Mickey Mouse presides over the holiday festivities during Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party at Magic Kingdom in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. This enchanting after-hours party showcases special entertainment, including "Mickey's Once Upon a Christmastime Parade" and a holiday edition of the fireworks spectacular "Wishes," as well as meet-and-greet opportunities with favorite Disney characters in holiday attire. (Matt Stroshane, photographer) Walt Disney World

Orlando, Florida

Opening Dec. 1

Since its opening in 1971, children (and adults) gravitate towards Disney World, the beloved epicenter of childhood fantasy. Some choose to visit Mickey and friends during the summer months, but beginning in November things start to get a lot more festive around the parks. The Once Upon A Christmastime Parade, part of Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party, takes place in the Magic Kingdom park on Main Street. Spectators can expect to see most of their favorite Disney characters, including Mickey, Olaf and even Santa Claus.

A fan favorite balloon at the Children's Christmas Parade in Atlanta Courtesy of Children's Christmas Parade for Children's Healthcare of Atlanta's Facebook/For the AJC

Atlanta

Dec. 2

Get into the holiday spirit and plan to attend not only one of the largest Christmas parades in the Southeast but one that also benefits a great cause. Since 1981, the Children's Christmas Parade transforms the city of Atlanta into a magnificent winter wonderland with marching bands, dancers and festive balloons. And if you want to take your holiday spirit even further, breakfast with Santa is available before the parade starts.

Reston, Virginia

Nov. 24

In its 27th year, the Reston Holiday Parade is a sight to see. It features Macy's-style balloons, musicians, dancers and antique cars marching along the half-mile parade route on Market Street. Besides the parade, the community of Reston offers a hoopla of other holiday festivities, including photo ops with Santa, a Christmas tree lighting and the Gingerbread Man Mile.

Portland, Oregon

Dec. 1-21

This nautical tradition in Portland has been going full steam for over 60 years. The parade features 60 ships of all shapes and sizes decorated with holiday sparkling lights. Each night over a three-week period the boats tour different areas, providing holiday cheer to land-side onlookers. Spectators can see the ships close up, take pictures with Santa and Mrs. Claus and even meet the boat captains.

Calistoga, California

Dec. 2

Christmas in California never looked brighter than at the Calistoga Lighted Tractor Parade. Feast your eyes on dazzling lights and tractors old and new as they parade through the ever-growing Napa Valley event. This ultimate small-town holiday parade is a unique way to take in the agricultural heritage while celebrating the Christmas season.

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 24: Santa Claus proceeds down 6th Av, during the 90th Macy's Annual Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 24, 2016 in New York City. Security was tight in New York City on Thursday for Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade after ISIS called supporters in the West to use rented trucks in attacks as similar as the ones operated in France this summer where at least 86 people were killed.(Photo by Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images) Eduardo Munoz Alvarez

New York

Thanksgiving Day

Waking up bright and early on Thanksgiving Day to watch the Macy's Parade has been a long-standing tradition. New York City goes all out: the parade features giant floating balloons of all the best cartoons characters, along with balloonicles, floats, marching bands, clowns, famous performers and local performance groups from around the country.

A boat-float all decked out for the holidays Courtesy of the Eastport Yacht Club Lights Parade Facebook/For the AJC

Annapolis, Maryland

Dec. 9

Celebrate Christmas in style with the city of Annapolis as holiday spirited boats take over the harbor. Families and friends have gathered for the past 35 years on the second Saturday in December to cheer on and revel from their favorite viewing spots. Some past favorites have included Star Wars-themed vessels and giant lit-up martini glasses.

Mummers participating in the Philadelphia New Years Day Parade Courtesy of Wikimedia/For the AJC

Philadelphia

New Year’s Day

The Christmas parades are over, Thanksgiving is left in the dust and the shiny NYC ball has dropped -- what is there to do now? Well, celebrate the New Year of course. New Year's Day is about celebrating, and there's no better place to do so than Philadelphia's Mummers Parade. The nearly 120-year-old tradition features "Mummers" dressed in lavish, colorful costumes as they strut down one of the city's main streets. Mummery has been a tradition for many Philadelphia-area families for generations, consisting of men and women of all ages who belong to more than 40 organized clubs. The parade extravaganza is tightly choreographed and full of noisy camaraderie, a fierce, fun way to ring in the New Year.

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