34th Annual Grand Illumination Parade

November 17, 2018  at  7pm

Free & Open to the Public
Rain Or Shine

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Don’t miss the Grand Illumination Parade in Downtown Norfolk. The parade kicks-off with the illumination of the downtown skyline. Then enjoy the premier holiday parade in the region featuring spectacular floats, marching bands, giant balloons, dancers and Santa himself.

The parade is the kick-off event of Holidays in the City, six-weeks of celebration and holiday events and activities in Norfolk and Olde Towne Portsmouth. Enjoy holiday traditions like the Virginia Stage Company’s A Christmas Carol and visit attractions like Dickens’ Christmas Towne.

Enjoy the Holidays Downtown

It’s a magical time to visit Downtown Norfolk and Olde Towne Portsmouth. There’s holiday music in the air, the warm glow of festive lights that decorate the streets and the skyline, and the pleasant aroma of chefs’ special creations at nearby restaurants. Greenery adorns doorways and windows of shops and hotels, busy with the traditional excitement of the season.


There are so many places to find chic winter clothing or home furnishings that create a cozy atmosphere in Norfolk and Olde Towne Portsmouth. With shopping choices ranging from the independently owned and eclectic boutique to the nationally recognized department store, finding what you didn’t know you desperately needed will not be a problem. Plus, there are many interesting local museum gift shops or art studios offering unique products where gifts for the hard-to-buy-for recipient can finally be found.

Shopping in Norfolk
Shopping in Olde Towne Portsmouth


Norfolk and Portsmouth offer some of the region’s best cuisine, and even the most discerning palate will be tempted by our area chefs’ creations. A couple of our local restaurants have even earned recognition on the national food scene and the menu of dining choices is extensive on both sides of the Elizabeth River. Indulge in four or five-course meal in an elegant fine dining setting or eat-out with some old friends while watching football in a sports bar. One certainty is that you won’t go hungry.

Dining in Downtown Norfolk
Dining in Olde Towne Portsmouth

Getting Around

Whether your coming in from out-of-town or traveling between Portsmouth and Norfolk, there are many different ways to get here and explore the cities. Click here to find out more.


Reasonable parking can be found throughout downtown Norfolk and Olde Towne Portsmouth during the holidays. For more information on Norfolk facilities, click here or view our snap-map.  Information on parking in Portsmouth can be located here.

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