True confessions: WE LOVE PARADES.
We love parades so much, we decided to write an article about our favorite parades in Champaign-Urbana. We do this with the caveat that EVERY PARADE IS A GREAT PARADE.
Parades in the Champaign-Urbana area start around St. Patrick’s Day and go through Christmas, with high parade season taking place between June through September, and then a dip up until the Christmas parades start up again in November.
This article will focus on summer parades, in other words, parades between Memorial Day and Labor Day. We will do another article about fall parades and winter-holiday parades later this year.
Here’s a list of three of our favorites, listed in chronological order. We will even add in a few of our readers’ favorites as well, so let us know – email us at email@example.com, or message us on the social media channel of your choice. Below is a listing of all summer parades on our calendar (and we keep adding more, so check in again.)
Tolono Fun Days Parade
TIME OF YEAR: end of June (typically the weekend before the Fourth of July)
WHERE: Tolono (about 15 minutes south of Champaign, if you’re not familiar. Take Route 45 South.)
WHY YOU SHOULD GO: Tolono Fun Days parade is the first of the Fourth of July parades. We love it because it always involves a lot of kids on floats, tons of fire trucks, and loads of candy. It’s authentic to its community, and that’s always the hallmark of a great parade!
Seymour 4th of July Parade
TIME OF YEAR: 4th of July morning
WHERE: Seymour (about 10 minutes south of Mahomet. Take I-72 west towards Monticello and get off at the Mahomet exit and head south, not north towards Mahomet.)
WHY YOU SHOULD GO: If you’re looking for a nostalgic small-town 4th of July parade near Champaign-Urbana the morning of the 4th of July, this short drive from C-U is a winning option. Tons of tractors and fire engines in this parade, along with local marching bands and more.
Labor Day Parade (aka The Candy Parade)
TIME OF YEAR: Labor Day. No really, this is actually ON Labor Day. Typically in the morning.
WHY YOU SHOULD GO: This is called the Candy Parade for a reason: because your child will get TONS of candy. Typically this parade gets really hot weather, so much so that people enjoy the floats with the kid supersoakers.
All Area Parades Coming Up This Summer
Wednesday, September 25, 2019
Downtown Mahomet, Time: 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Show your spirit for the Mahomet-Seymour Bulldogs or just come out to enjoy a good, old-fashioned parade! The homecoming parade departs from the high school parking lot at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, September 25 and proceeds through downtown. The parade will start at the high school and travel down State St. to…read more…
Friday, September 27, 2019
Tuscola Ervin Park, Time: 2:45 pm - 3:30 pm
TCHS Homecoming Parade begins at 2:45 PM. The Parade Route will begin at Ervin Park, turning south on Main St and will turn left at Daggy St. It will continue to Prairie St where it will turn left and proceed to the south side of the High School and will turn left…read more…
Downtown St. Joseph, Time: 4:15 pm - 5:00 pm
St. Joseph-Ogden is having its homecoming parade on Sept. 27 at 4:15 p.m. on Main Street in St. Joseph. Come on out for some fun! The Spartans will host Pontiac, kick-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Saturday, September 28, 2019
Downtown Champaign, Time: 1:00 pm - 7:00 pm
The tenth annual event in Champaign includes great free, family-friendly happenings on Saturday, including the parade at 3pm, performances and entertainment from 1-7pm and free entry to the Orpheum from 1-5pm for all families.
Wednesday, October 2, 2019
, Time: 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Root on the Bunnies in this homecoming parade for the Fisher Bunnies. Complete with kids throwing candy, a marching band, and lots of community and hometown spirit. Starts at 6:30 pm and goes through downtown Fisher. Wear orange!
Saturday, October 5, 2019
Friday, October 18, 2019
University of Illinois quad (behind the Union), Time: 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Parade runs from 6-7 p.m., along Armory, Wright, Green and Matthews Avenue through Campustown. Parade ends at the Quad. Bring a bag for candy! Features performances by the Marching Illini, cheerleaders and dance teams; many University of Illinois student groups, the Homecoming court, and much more.
Sunday, October 20, 2019
Mayfair Park, Time: 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Join us for the 5th Annual Mayfair Park Halloween Parade! Dress up and enjoy a perfectly spooktacular parade around the park for this small neighborhood parade! We’ll also have games, treats, and a frighteningly good time for ghosts and goblins of all ages.
Sunday, October 27, 2019
Clark Park, Time: 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
They will parade around the park at 3:00 pm followed by snacks and games in the park. Please bring a snack to share. Please note this is a small neighborhood parade.
Monday, November 11, 2019
Saturday, November 30, 2019
Downtown Champaign, Time: 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
The holiday season begins on Saturday, November 30 in the heart of Downtown Champaign as Santa rides his sleigh up Neil Street at the Champaign Center Parade of Lights, presented by Christie Clinic! In its 19th year, this beloved community event features lighted floats, marching bands, and Santa Claus himself.…read more…