Residents battle for spots along Lakeland Christmas parade

Thousands of residents are already scoping out spots to enjoy the event.

LAKELAND, Fla. (WTSP) -- Lakeland’s annual Christmas parade is Thursday night, but the excitement has been building since Monday. That’s when people started lining the parade route with chairs, even though the city asks people not to put them up until 24 hours beforehand.

“We’ve always had rules,” City Spokesperson Kevin Cook said. “Unfortunately, many times those rules are overlooked.”

Some chairs are tied together, taped together and locked together, so nobody moves them.

On Thursday morning, Jessica Golden was still able to get a good spot along the route. She and her husband will be bringing their 2-year-old daughter to the parade for the first time this year.

“It’s crazy sometimes trying to find a spot, because they come out a few days before, so I got lucky with this spot,” Golden said.

Many people think the chair situation has gotten out of hand. Some businesses block off their property and put signs up, asking people not to set up their chairs until the morning of the parade.

The city said they do occasionally have problems with chairs blocking sidewalks and driveways, but they hope people can put aside any frustrations for this one night.

The parade has around 115 floats, marching bands and other groups, and the city expects as many as 50,000 people to watch it. If you don’t want to compete for a good place to sit, you can watch the parade on public access television in Lakeland, or on the city’s website. It starts at 7 p.m.
 


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