Get into the holiday spirit by attending a parade in the Stateline this year! Holiday parades in the greater Rockford, Illinois area kick off in late November to welcome the upcoming Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Hanukkah season. The Stateline area parades include decorated, lit-up floats, live music, and often an appearance by Santa! Here’s a list of the greater Rockford area parades this holiday season. All parades are free to attend!
Light Up the Parks Holiday Parade (Loves Park and Machesney Park)
When: Sunday, November 19, 2023 beginning at 5:30 pm
Where: Loves Park City Hall (100 Heart Blvd., Loves Park) and Machesney Park Town Center (8760 N. 2nd St., Machesney Park)
The event begins with a tree lighting by Mayor Jury at the Loves Park City Hall followed by fireworks. After the fireworks, the parade will step off from the City Hall parking lot and travel down Elm Avenue, and Roosevelt before ending in the Machesney Town Center (former Machesney Park Mall). At approximately 6:30 pm, Mayor Johnson will light the Village’s 30 foot tree and Santa and Mrs. Claus will make an appearance. Kids are welcome to bring their letters to Santa to place in the mailbox on site. There will also be treats provided by a local church.
Grand Lighted Holiday Parade (Beloit)
When: Friday, November 24, 2023 beginning at 5 pm
Where: Downtown Beloit
Beloit’s Grand Lighted Parade is back for the 31st year of spreading joy to the Beloit community! The event kicks off at 5 pm with live music at First National Bank Plaza. At 6 pm, Santa arrives and the Christmas tree is lit. The parade then begins at 6:15 pm at 3rd Street and continues through downtown to Horace White Park (825 E. Grand Ave., Beloit, WI). After the parade ends, Santa and Mrs. Claus will be at Walnut Creek Awards (400 E. Grand Ave., Beloit, WI) at 7 pm for photos. New this year: There will also be fireworks at ABC Supply Stadium (217 Shirland Ave., Beloit, WI) immediately following the parade. There is also free hot chocolate at the event! You can stop at Walnut Creek Apparel to pick up a Santa Express ticket that holds your place in line to see Santa.
Stroll on State Parade (Rockford)
When: Saturday, November 25, 2023 from 2 – 3 pm
Where: Downtown Rockford
Stroll on State is the biggest holiday event in Rockford! It’s a fantastic full-day event with lots of mostly free fun for families. Read about all of the fun at Stroll on State here! Stroll on State also has a huge daytime parade that kicks off the event at 2 pm. This parade has nine large-scale balloons, including a brand new Rockford themed balloon in 2023. There is also live music, tons of decorated Jeeps, and lots of candy tossed out to the kids watching the parade. Spectators are encouraged to find seats by 1 pm. The parade will step off at 2 pm from South Main and Chestnut Street then move north to State Street and end at 3rd street.
Light Up the Nights Parade (Belvidere)
When: Friday, December 1, 2023 beginning at 5:30 pm
Where: Downtown Belvidere
The Light Up the Nights parade will kick off at 5:30 pm in downtown Belvidere. The parade is part of the Belvidere Hometown Christmas celebration which runs through December 2nd and includes outdoor ice skating, pictures with Santa, a winter carnival, crafts, horse-drawn carriage rides, and more. You can find out more information about the event here.
Jolly Jingle Holiday Light Parade (Janesville)
When: Saturday, December 2, 2023 beginning at 6 pm
Where: Downtown Janesville
Janesville’s Jolly Jingle Holiday Light Parade is a multi-day event that includes a nighttime parade. This lighted parade includes music, lights, and an appearance by Santa Claus. The parade starts at the Municipal Parking Lot across from the Police Station, heads south on N. Jackson St., east on Milwaukee St., and south on Main St. and ends at Racine St. The parade is part of Janesville’s Jolly Jingle celebration which runs from December 1-3, 2023 and includes Santa visits, bell hunts, S’mores and hot cocoa, tree lightings and lots more. Get more information about the Jolly Jingle here.
Lighted Christmas Parade (Rockton)
When: Saturday, December 2, 2023 beginning at 6 pm
Where: Downtown Rockton
The Rockton Christmas Parade is part of the Rockton Christmas Walk that runs December 1-3, 2023. Christmas Walk activities include a parade, pictures with Santa, giant S’mores, Christmas Caroling, Hot Cocoa Crawl, Dueling Pianos and more. The parade kicks off on Main Street and Center Street and continues east along Main Street, finishing at Hononegah High School (307 Salem St., Rockton, IL). Get more information about Rockton’s Christmas Walk here.
Holiday Parades A Short Drive Away
These parades are about an hour’s drive from Rockford, IL.
Electric Christmas Parade (St. Charles, IL)
When: Saturday, November 25, 2023 beginning at 5:30 pm
Where: Downtown St. Charles
The annual Electric Christmas Parade takes place Saturday at 5:30 pm. The parade kicks off from 6th Street and heads down Main Street before ending at 4th Avenue. There will be bands, parade floats, and Santa Claus. This event is part of St. Charles Holiday Homecoming weekend which runs November 24-26. You can learn more about the event here.
Annual Electric Christmas Parade (Lake Geneva, WI)
When: Saturday, December 2, 2023 beginning at 5 pm
Where: Downtown Lake Geneva
The 48th annual Electric Christmas Parade kicks off in downtown Lake Gevena on Broad and Main Street at 5 pm. There will be lit-up floats and an appearance by Santa. Learn more about the parade here.