The Chapel Hill-Carrboro Holiday Parade will return this year for the first time since 2019. This year, the institutions organizing the event are placing emphasis on celebrating and showcasing the diversity of the community.
On Saturday, Dec. 3, attendants will be greeted with a safe and festive gathering, featuring decorated floats and marching bands. This event will see increased involvement from several local institutions.
Prior to announcing the 2022 Community Holiday Parade, representatives from the Towns of Chapel Hill and Carrboro discussed ways to better reflect the groups that make the community diverse.
In the new application, local organizations and cultural and performance groups are urged to join in on the celebration.
Susan Brown, executive director of Chapel Hill's Community Arts & Culture division, said she participated in the discussion.
"This event could and should better showcase the many different cultural and holiday traditions in our community," she said in a press release.
When applying to participate in the event, organizations are prompted to share their advancement of community goals, such as improving cultural and historical awareness in the area. They are also asked to share any of their diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives.
Rhea Khazi, a ninth-grader at Chapel Hill High School, said she walked in the 2019 holiday parade alongside her middle school band playing "Jingle Bell Rock" for parade attendees.
While she said it was immersive and fun, Khazi noticed discrepancies between the demographics of the parade and the town it occurred in.