Holiday Parade, Tree Lighting Dec. 3

Some streets to be closed

Monday, Nov. 20, 2023

Hillsborough’s annual holiday parade and tree lighting will take place on Sunday, Dec. 3, and traffic will be rerouted around the downtown area late that afternoon.

The day’s festivities will begin with the Running of the Elves race along the parade route at 4:05 p.m., followed by the parade at 4:15 p.m. The parade will follow Churton Street from Corbin Street to Margaret Lane, and will be followed by the annual lighting of the town tree and caroling on the grounds of the Old Orange County Courthouse, 100 E. King St.

For everyone’s safety, those watching the parade are asked to refrain from setting up chairs on the sidewalk to help maintain a handicap-accessible route for those who need to move past. This pedestrian pathway should be 4 feet wide where that is possible. Also, the Hillsborough Police Department asks that drivers not idle cars behind parade watchers on side streets. If you must remain in your vehicle to watch the parade, please turn off your car. 

This year’s parade, presented by the Hillsborough/Orange County Chamber of Commerce, will feature local bands, fire engines and other first-responder vehicles, local personalities, floats, mascots and cheerleaders, as well as Santa and Mrs. Claus.

Food vendors and portable restrooms will be available on the courthouse lawn from 3 p.m. until after the tree lighting. Downtown shops and restaurants will remain open during and after the parade.

For additional information about the parade and tree lighting, see the chamber’s parade webpage. For information on the race, see the Hillsborough Running Club’s webpage.

Traffic information

Floats for the parade will be staged along North Churton Street between U.S. 70/N.C. 86 North and Corbin Street. This section of North Churton Street and East Corbin Street will be closed at 1:30 p.m. At 3:50 p.m., Churton Street will be closed between Corbin Street and U.S. 70-A (south of the downtown area) and South Cameron Street will be closed at East King Street, closing access to East Margaret Lane. Streets will remain closed for 15 to 20 minutes after the parade to allow for cleanup by Hillsborough Public Works employees. Streets likely will be reopened by 6:30 p.m.

East Orange Street will be closed between North Churton and Cameron streets from 1:30 p.m. until the Running of the Elves race participants have cleared the street, which will be soon after 4 p.m.

To divert traffic from the downtown area, officers will be positioned at every intersection along the parade route — from U.S. 70/N.C. 86 North to U.S. 70-A, as well as at East King and South Cameron streets. Motorists are encouraged to bypass downtown Hillsborough during the parade by using U.S. 70 and Interstate 85.

Parking information

Attendees are encouraged to carpool and to arrive early. Free parking is available in the Eno River Parking Deck; at River Park Elementary School, 240 St. Mary’s Road; on King Street and other streets within the downtown area; and in various lots, including two lots off West King Street.

Early on the morning of the parade, traffic cones will be placed in on-street parking spaces on Churton Street, as no on-street parking will be allowed during the parade.

Related documents

Document Parade map