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While getting ready for school yesterday morning, my 6-year-old asked, “Mom, when can we go back to that place in Washington that does the Christmas parades every night?” She was gleefully reminiscing about her time at the Snowflake Lane Parade in Bellevue, Washington. Our family attended the festivities last November, and it’s proven to be a fond memory that comes back to my daughters’ minds often throughout the year.
After a three-hour drive to Bellevue, we were all ready for a break and a bit of magic. An amazing dinner later, we headed to the main attraction: the parade. We staked out our spot, then waited with bated breath. Fortunately, we were never bored. The parade proctors kept us busy with displays of toy soldiers on stilts, princesses, and other live toys who roamed the crowds of people to hand out red lollipops for the kids.
The drum line music, played by young men in brightly colored toy soldier suits, was a high-energy and perfectly synchronous performance. Those guys were good! Really good! My daughter’s eyes lit up when the jingle bells dance line stole the show, in their adorable fur-lined Christmas costumes. Each parade participant brought their skills in full force that night. No one ever broke out of their jovial Christmas character. An incredible amount of time and energy was put into producing, choreographing and rehearsing the Snowflake Lane Parade. It’s hands down, one of the best parades I’ve ever had the pleasure of watching. After enjoying a thrill ride of Christmas music, singing, dancing and princess gazing, the parade’s grand finale was Santa Claus, real snowflakes and a fantastic laser light show.
If you make the trip yourself this season, the weather in Belleview is cool and crisp, so be sure to pack warm and comfortable jackets and hats for the little ones. A few cups of hot cocoa will also hit the spot on a cool December night. There is no shortage of fantastic shopping and family-friendly restaurants surrounding the venue, so there’s something for moms and dads too!
My daughters’ eyes glowed with happiness and excitement as we watched the show. We clapped, we danced, we sang along to the music and caught the snowflakes as they floated down from the fabulous architecture of the Bellevue Collection above us. Head up to Bellevue this holiday season to make some memories that will last a lifetime.
The Snowflake Lane parades occur every night at 7 p.m., from November 27 (the day after Thanksgiving) through December 24, at the Bellevue Collection, along the sidewalks of Bellevue Way and N.E. 8th in the heart of downtown Bellevue.