Scenes from the 71st Annual Winter Park Christmas Parade

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Thousands gathered on the morning of Saturday, Dec. 2, to watch Winter Park’s oldest holiday tradition unfold along Park Avenue. Ye Olde Hometown Christmas Parade began its 71st procession just after 9 a.m. with more than 80 Central Florida organizations participating with floats, bands, and lots of candy-tossing.

Spectators began arriving before 7 a.m. to stake their spots while displays were assembled, musicians practiced and costumes were completed. Many in the crowd donned their own festive apparel. Donavyn Retzlaff travelled from Auburndale with family and friends to enjoy the festivities and show off the custom holiday top hat that she crafted out of cardboard.

Donavyn Retzlaff of Auburndale awaits her fourth Winter Park Christmas Parade while wearing a festive top hat she created.
Retzlaff made the detailed headwear out of cardboard, crochet and lots of patience. She shares her crafting skills on her website,

“We arrived at 7:30 – woke up at 5 a.m. – brought our coffee and donuts and we’re ready to have a great time,” she said. “We love watching the parade and hanging out in Winter Park, it’s a great time.”

See the photo gallery for highlights from the 71st annual Ye Olde Hometown Christmas Parade.

Spectators await the 9 a.m. start time with many arriving with the sunrise to claim their spot.
Fans gather at the start of the parade route, by the intersection of Park and W. Canton avenues.
Ellarie Price, Rachel Cravener and Clara Atsinger of Orlando Ballet School get ready to join the fun.
Palmano Group Real Estate Brokerage, LLC gets their towering parade float ready to roll.
The Winter Park Police Department Honor Guard prepare to lead the procession.
Winter Park High School “Sound of the Wildcats” Marching Band makes a festive impression.
Orlando City Soccer Club mascot Kingston on the Orlando Health – Jewett Orthopedic Institute float.
Mariachi Internacional Tapatio make their yearly appearance in the parade.
Winter Park Commissioner Kris Cruzada tosses candy to the crowd.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Department arrives with its honor guard leading the way.
Motorcycle units follow the honor guard with some flashy helmet accessories.
Treasures of Winter Park Troop 1092 sport some sweet costumes as they march as Girl Scout Cookies.
Reedy Creek Fire Department Pipes & Drums bring their own soundtrack.
Vintage rides get a holiday makeover at Model A’s of Greater Orlando.
A participant in the annual Holiday Boat Parade is towed down Park Avenue on the Rotary Club of Winter Park float. This year’s boat parade is schedule for Saturday, Dec. 9.
Big bugs are not unusual in Florida but this one, with Trapline Pest Solutions, was handing out treats.
A Tars banner is proudly carried by the Rollins College swim team as they join their fellow athletes on the parade route.
Students from Stone Dance Academy show off their company’s Nutcracker costumes.
The Winter Park Ukulele Society strums and sings “Mele Kalikimaka” as they ride down Park Avenue.
The Bishop Moore Catholic High School Black & Gold Brigade carve a musical path for Santa and Mrs. Claus.
Winter Park Firemen’s Association provide their annual ride for the Clauses as the parade wraps up.
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