58th Annual Nashville Christmas Parade Brings Out Thousands
by Chris Cannon
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Tens of thousands of people filled both sides of the Cumberland River Friday night for the 58th Annual Nashville Christmas Parade, the Metro tree lighting and the 30th annual Rudolph's Red Nose Run.
The night started with the 5K run at LP Field. 1,700 people signed up to take part in the annual fundraiser for Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Nashville.
Many of the runners have turned the event into a costume contest. Steve and Amy Moore went biblical to try to compete with their friends.
"I know we're going to win in our group. We have a competition in our group. I know we're got it wrapped up," Steve Moore said.
Mayor Karl Dean was joined by country radio legend and parade grand marshal Gerry House to flip the switch on the 30-foot Norwegian Spruce at the Nashville Public Square.
The tree was donated by Metro Public Works employee Shane Vivrette. It contains more than 5,000 LED lights.
The lighting ceremony will also include performances by a barbershop quartet and children from Mount View Elementary School.
The annual Christmas Parade started just after 7 p.m. and featured more than 60 lighted floats, balloons and an appearance by Santa Claus.
An estimated 80,000 people lined the streets from South 1st Street in East Nashville and ended at Hume Fogg Magnet High School on Broadway.
Everyone has a favorite part of the parade. Aireal Shelton sat along Woodland Street, it was her first time watching, even though she has come to the parade for years.
"When I was in high school, I went to Glencliff and we marched in the ROTC. So it's my first time actually coming out to watch this," said Shelton.
NewsChannel 5 This Morning anchors Steve Hayslip and Amy Watson rode in Friday night's parade and noticed a big difference in the weather this year.
"Two years ago we froze out here, so it's real comfortable, real fun," Watson said.
"Real fun. Lots of people out here, so we're excited," Hayslip added.