Sitting Room Only Tonight at the Parade

DSCF7256 editIf you’re going to tonight’s Christmas Parade, you’re already too late to grab a good spot. This year Lakeland Sooners started placing chairs even earlier, with many prime viewing locations nabbed early last night. Placing chairs and roping off sections of the sidewalk is no longer quaint. Parades were meant to be viewed standing with children on your shoulders or tugging at your sleeves.

This morning, I listened to a downtown business owner complain when she arrived at work to find the sidewalk packed with chairs. Her company hoped to use their sidewalk space for 15 employees and family members, but some Sooners grabbed the spots last night.

If you’re downtown for dinner or work tonight, careful where you park. At approximately 7pm, the city will close the exits at the Main Street and Iowa Avenue parking garages. You’ll have to stay for the duration. (The Orange Street parking garage will stay open throughout the parade and might be easier to egress after the parade.)

The parade pulls out of the Lakeland Center at 7pm and should be over before 9:30. For those wanting to see the parade up close and personal, LGN will broadcast live on Brighthouse 615 and Verizon FiOS 43. If you want the full chilly and crowded experience, I suggest you study the route (pdf) and then use your lunch break to place some chairs.

If you’d like to get in the parade spirit right now, check out the City’s parade broadcast promo from hosts Kevin Cook and Mimi Fernandez:


Creative Commons License photo credit: Chuck Welch for Lakeland Local

One thought on “Sitting Room Only Tonight at the Parade

  1. Growing up I attended parades in Overland Park, Kansas and Columbus, Ohio. I don’t ever remember people bringing chairs out for any of the parades. As kids we either sat on the curb, stood or sat atop my dad’s shoulders.
    Since moving to Lakeland in December 1995, I’ve found it kind of freaky that the City allows chairs to be set out so far in advance, without a butt in seat. Is this an extension of the couch-potato-itis that seems to be prevalent in society? Can you imagine the backlash if the City tried to create an ordinance that said you can’t set out unoccupied chairs more than four hours before the parade? Is this problem related to the general feeling of entitlement people seem to have today? Eventually with increased population density, seating thievery and rage could become a problem. The only action that chose to take is avoiding the Christmas Parade altogether. I’m not into crowds anyway and I can watch the parade later on LGTV while I work out.

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