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Knoxville's Christmas Parade returns downtown on Friday

The parade will include 115 units, with healthcare workers from many hospitals in the area serving as Grand Marshals.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The 48th annual WIVK Christmas Parade will march through downtown Knoxville Friday evening, starting at 6:45 p.m. Some roads will be closed so the parade and its attendees can move through downtown safely.

Officials said that eastbound lanes of Howard Baker Jr. Avenue, between Hill Avenue and Hall of Fame Drive, will be closed from 4:30 p.m. through 8:30 p.m.

The parade will include 115 units from high school marching bands in the area, flag corps, dancers, singers, local fire departments, community organizations, churches, classic cars, radio personalities, WIVICK the Frog and Santa Claus.

The parade will start from Howard Baker Jr. Avenue before proceeding through Church Street and turning north on Gay Street. Then, it will continue to the viaduct and turn east onto Jackson Avenue, towards the Old City. It ends at the parking lot on Patton Avenue.

Roads on the parade route will also close at 6:30 p.m. and will reopen at around 8:30 p.m. These include portions of Market Street, Union Avenue, Clinch Avenue and Jackson Avenue.

Officials said drivers should also avoid Summit Hill Drive since all four lanes of traffic will be stopped as the parade goes through the intersection. Work is also continuing on the 800 block of Gay Street, causing another road closure.

The WIVK Christmas Parade is part of the city's annual holiday traditions, which include many festivities across Knoxville. These include the Holidays on Ice event featuring an ice skating rink in Market Square, the Elf on the Shelf scavenger hunt, and the Peppermint Trail.

More information can be found online about the city's Christmas events. You can also watch it live below.