LAKELAND, Fla. — The well-attended Lakeland Christmas parade on Thursday filled the streets of the city known for swans.
The annual Lakeland Christmas Parade returned for its 41st anniversary, after taking a break in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. That means this was technically the 40th parade the city has hosted.
The event is so popular, the city had to put out another notice to parade-goers this year, asking them not to put out chairs days before the event or else they would be removed by city crews. In years past, chairs and other furniture blocked sidewalks, forcing people to walk in the streets to get around them.
Safety was a major concern this year after a car plowed into a Wisconsin Christmas parade just a few days ago. Organizers said the city's sanitation trucks and other large vehicles blocked access to other cars along the route, shielding parade-goers and participants.
Fireworks signaled the beginning of the parade.
From there, floats weaved through the streets of Downtown Lakeland, starting at the RP Funding Center. The 1.25-mile route looped around Lake Mirror and returned to the RP Funding Center. You can see the parade route here.