Photos: The Sights of the 2016 Raleigh Christmas Parade

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The weather on Saturday in Raleigh did not seem willing to admit that Christmas was coming.

With highs in the upper 70s, bright skies, and a whiff of smoke lingering in the air from wildfires to the west, it felt more like a late-summer or early-fall beauty. Still, thousands sporting seasonal T-shirts and uncomfortably warm sweaters lined the sidewalks from St. Mary’s on Hillsborough Street to the performing arts center at the end of Fayetteville Street. At times, the throngs were so thick that the sidewalks were impassable. It was as if, after months of national turmoil and doubt, people just wanted to see something that made them smile, no matter how much they sweat in their sweater.

Photographer Willa Stein roamed the streets and dodged the floats to capture these images of the seventy-second WRAL-TV Raleigh Christmas Parade.


Patiently awaiting the parade


Santa's ninth reindeer

Santa’s ninth reindeer



Mayor Nancy McFarlane passes through Raleigh



This year’s parade featured more bands than in previous years


Totally owning it

Totally owning it



Clowning the route



Shrek, an annual parade hit



A little member of the Helping Hand Marching Band


A whirl of colors

A whirl of colors



Hold ‘er steady



The choral group Oakwood Waits



Gorgeous old tractors, making the turn down Fayetteville Street



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