Thousands gather for 65th annual ‘Friend of Christmas’ parade in Ocala

Published: Dec. 10, 2022 at 11:48 PM EST
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OCALA, Fla. (WCJB) -While Christmas is just two weeks away, thousands of residents lined several streets in Ocala for the 65th annual ‘Friends of Christmas’ parade.

Many people set up their chairs days in advance to have a front-row seat to what they say is the best parade in town.     

Hundreds of floats and performers traveled almost 10 miles starting from Southeast 25th avenue and ending on Northeast 3rd street.

Race Zimmerman said she and her family came all the way from Dunnellon just for the parade

“A couple years back we came and it was the best thing was the best thing of my life, I loved it so much,” said Zimmerman. “This is a really fun thing, like a family-friendly thing to come out here.”

While most people came to see the lights and the performances, James butler comes every year to spend quality time with his family.

“It’s really important. Me and my five daughters we come out here and one of my daughters is actually in the parade this year,” said Butler. “So it’s pretty amazing to finally get to see people that we know in the parade.”

The festivities don’t stop here, the city of Ocala leaders have planned more events leading up to Christmas day.

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