City of Gainesville holiday festivities begin Saturday with parade, dance party, and holiday lights celebration

Press release from City of Gainesville

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – More than 90 dance troupes, marching bands, floats, and community groups will make their way down University Avenue in the 2023 A Very GNV Holiday Parade, the City of Gainesville’s first parade in decades. Former Florida Gators Head Football Coach Steve Spurrier will appear as its grand marshal.

The parade is the first of several downtown City events this Saturday to usher in the holiday season, and City and community leaders invite all neighbors to enjoy the day’s festivities. All events are free and open to the public.

2023 A Very GNV Holiday Parade
When: Noon-2 p.m. Sat., Dec. 2
Start: intersection of W. University Ave. and W. 6th St.
End: 620 E. University Ave. (ACPS Admin Bldg.)

Holiday Kids Dance Party
When: 3-5 p.m. Sat., Dec. 2
Where: Bo Diddley Plaza, 111 E. University Ave.

Holiday Lights Celebration
When: 5:30-8 p.m., Dec. 2
Where: The Historic Thomas Center, 302 N.E. 6th Ave.

Traffic impacts

  • NW 6th Street between W. University Ave. and NW 8th Ave. will serve as the staging area for parade entries and will close at 7 a.m. Saturday until the final entry enters the parade route.
  • East University Avenue from W. 7th Street to E. 7th Street will close at 11 a.m. Saturday and reopen gradually as the final entry travels the parade route.
  • Buses along certain Regional Transit System (RTS) routes will experience delays Saturday. Visit the City’s RTS website for details.

#GNVholidayparade is the official hashtag of the parade. Neighbors are invited to tag the City when posting photos online, using @GainesvilleFL on Facebook; @gainesvillefla on Instagram; and @Gainesvillegov on X (formerly Twitter).

The parade will be livestreamed on the City’s Facebook page. It will be recorded for replay on Community 12TV, and available on demand after the event on GNV TV through Roku and Amazon Fire TV devices.

  • “The parade will be livestreamed on the City’s Facebook page. It will be recorded for replay on Community 12TV, and available on demand after the event on GNV TV through Roku and Amazon Fire TV devices.”

    Yet you now refuse to provide similar services for city meetings under the guise of budget constraints. More city obfuscation only leads to more citizen interest.

  • How do you say it? “A Very G – N – V Holiday Parade?” That sounds awkward. Why not just call it A Very Gainesville Holiday Parade? I guess we’re always trying to show how “speshul” we are as a city. But I am glad there will be a parade even if they can’t call it a Christmas parade because they are too soft in the head or too woke or whatever.

    • Good a parade for the kids. But, let’ call it a Christmas parade. If you feel offended don’t participate.

      • Just as Christians usurped the winter solstice and it’s many ancient spin-offs for Christmas, modern Americans and others have usurped Christmas here who are not Christians and celebrate giving, good will, and life in the depths of winter. They pay taxes and by our Constitution no religion can be established by the state.

        • So that’s why Christmas is a Federal holiday? And most normal cities have Christmas parades? Is Santa Claus a religious figure in Grinchman’s mind? How about Rudolph and Frosty?

  • What about the post celebration so called ‘block party’? I hear they can be a real blast?

  • My son moved to Ft. Worth, TX. last month. After living his 26 years of life in Gainesville, Ft. Worth is the town Gainesville claims to be. The America those older than 55 remember. They have a Christmas parade, his employer has a Christmas party, streets are in good repair, there are no signs of people panhandling, and a lot of “mom and pop” businesses. He is learning more about the community. I was hoping he wouldn’t like Ft. Worth and want to move back to Gainesville. In his opinion, the Gainesville leaders have created a town that people look forward to leaving. Sad.

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