The first Friday of December each year, the people of Whitewater, WI bundle up and head downtown to experience the magic of the season– lighted snowflakes on the lampposts, fresh greenery in the flower boxes, cocoa at many local businesses (who’s windows are decorated for the season!), and the beloved Parade of Lights full of candy canes and lighted floats.

“It’s impressive to see everyone gather in the cold and the dark, taking time to get to know their neighbors. And to see excited business owners get into the spirit of the holiday season.”

Lisa Dawsey Smith, Downtown Whitewater, Inc
Smores Pit on the corner of Main St. and 1st St., Whitewater, WI

What likely started in the 1980s with a parade that ran for 15min and a lighted tree walk afterward has grown into a full-length parade (about 40min) organized by Downtown Whitewater, Inc. and volunteers from various UW-Whitewater organizations. Many local businesses (like Jessica’s!) keep their doors open later for various treats and activities and there’s a fire pit on the corner of Main St. and N. 1st St. for getting toasty and roasting ‘mallows.

“Before I moved here, I researched Whitewater, and the first thing I found were photos of the parade. I’d never grown up with toasting marshmallows in the street, so I was excited about that!”

Lisa Dawsey Smith, Downtown Whitewater, Inc
Kids visiting with Santa at First Citizens State Bank, Whitewater, WI

This year, start with telling Santa what’s on your wish list at First Citizens State Bank from 4-6p. The Book Teller has Storytime for Kids at 5:30p and their Holiday Open House event runs from 4-8p. Dale’s Bootery will have goodie bags created by students from the UW-Whitewater LIFE Program and the Chamber office will have take and make crafts. The Smore’s Pit is open from 5-6p and the Parade of Lights is at 6p. The theme this year is Peace on Earth.

“My favorite thing about the parade is getting to watch it with my kids. They get so excited. That’s precious to me. I don’t know if it’s the magic of the season or what, but I’d love to foster that feeling throughout the whole year. It’s things like this that keep downtowns alive and vital.”

Lisa Dawsey Smith, Downtown Whitewater, Inc

We couldn’t agree more! So bundle up, grab friends and loved ones, and we’ll see you downtown for the holiday magic on December 6th.

For more information or to sign up to be in the parade, visit Downtown Whitewater, Inc.