Coming Soon

Images of America. Tulsa Christmas Parade BOOK

Since 1926, the Tulsa Christmas Parade has entertained thousands of children and adults year after year as it winds through the historic streets of downtown Tulsa. In its early days, when Tulsa was a new town booming with rapid growth from the recent discovery of oil, the Christmas parade quickly became an annual tradition that has continued to be a favorite event for the past 90 years.

About the Author

Jessica Gullo has served as creative director for Tulsa Christmas Parade since 2015 and enjoys researching and preserving history for others to enjoy. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Oklahoma) served as the mayor of Tulsa from 1978 to 1984 and was a member of the US House of Representatives from Oklahoma’s First District from 1987 to 1994. Since 1994, he has represented Oklahoma in the US Senate. For almost 40 years, Inhofe has been a fixture of the parade, riding his horse and greeting parade goers.

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Parade Entry

The Tulsa Christmas Parade is just the event to showcase your business in front of thousands of spectators all along the parade route and tens of thousands of viewers on Oklahoma’s Channel 8.

Sponsorship

Stand Out from the Crowd

Depending on the sponsorship level you select, you have the opportunity to reach thousands of Tulsans with your marketing message.

Parade Map

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Volunteer

Help create the true spirit of Christmas this year and join in the fellowship of our Tulsa Christmas Parade as a volunteer.

Interested in becoming a sponsor? Get in touch or call 918-732-9403

Proudly Benefiting

Soldier's Wish
Parade Route Map 2016

Frequently Asked Questions

What Can I Do to Help with the Parade?

We hope you’ll get involved with us and make this the best Christmas parade we’ve ever had. Here are just a few things you can do: Like us on Facebook and share the event with your friends. Like Us on Facebook Volunteers to help with the parade. Click Here to Volunteer Become a sponsor. Click...

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What is the Parade Route This Year?

Coming Soon.

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Will There Be a Live Broadcast on Television?

Stay tuned for more information about our media sponsor and live broadcast information.

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Will There Be Awards Given for the Best and Most Creative Floats?

Award winners will be named at the end of the parade. A list of float categories for this year will be announced soon.

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Tulsa Christmas Parade History

For many decades, Tulsans have come together to celebrate Christmas in a downtown setting. The first record of these types of events in the community date back to the late nineteenth and early twentieth-centuries. However, it wasn’t until the late 1920s that an organized parade became part of the tradition—leading the way to what is now a major and much-anticipated event throughout the area.

Today’s Tulsa Christmas Parade features a rich and enduring history. Here are a few highlights from the parades and celebrations of yesteryears.

Timeline

Timeline
1926
June 1

Santa Claus Comes to Town

In 1926, Santa and his live reindeer appeared before a crowd of at least 50,000 parade attendees.
1927
January 22

Flying High

A year later—in 1927—Santa flew in on a special plane made just for him.
1933
June 1

Wonders From Around the World

By 1933, the parade had become a well-established event and a big draw for downtown stores, which stayed open later than their normal hours to take advantage of the huge crowd of shoppers. Santa rode in a sleigh made from rubber tires and the theme was Wonders from Around the World.
1942
June 1

A Break

The parade would see a several year hiatus because of World War II.
June 22

Bright Lights

Bright lights decorated the intersection of 5th Street and Main in 1942. (Photo Courtesy of the Tulsa World)
1949
June 1

Marching Bands

Marching bands have always been a crowd favorite in past and present parades. Here, the Tulsa University Band leads the Tulsa Christmas Parade. (Photo Courtesy of the Beryl Ford Collection and Rotary Club of Tulsa)
1950
June 22

Yuletide Parade

By the 1950s, the parade became known as the Yuletide Parade and boasted at least a dozen floats.
1960
June 1

Blast from Tulsa’s Past

Marching bands continue to lead the way. (Photo Courtesy of Scott Hamilton)
1963
June 1

Parade Postoned

The parade was postponed a week due to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
1973
June 1

Energy Crisis

During the energy crisis of 1973, the city waited until December 1st to put up Christmas lights downtown—a full 15 days later than normal. They were turned off at 10 PM nightly to conserve electricity. However, this change did not affect the parade, as it was held during the daytime.
1980
June 1

Iran Hostage Crisis

The start of the 1980 parade featured flags topped with yellow ribbons, reminding parade attendees of the 52 American hostages held in Iran.
1986
June 1

Nighttime Parade

For a time, the parade was held during the day to help downtown businesses. In 1986, the parade became held at night when Public Service Company of Oklahoma became a sponsor of the Tulsa Christmas Parade of Light. (Photo and Content Courtesy of Steve Crane/Tulsa World File)
2014
June 1

A New Tradition

A group of community and business leaders came together to organize the region's favorite parade. Collectively they decided to ensure that each year a worthwhile charity would benefit from the funds raised for our Tulsa tradition.
2015
June 1

An Old-Fashined Family Christmas

Nearly a century after the first celebrations began, Tulsa continues the tradition of gathering families together to watch the annual Christmas parade light up Downtown Tulsa.
2016
June 1

And So The Tradition Continues

We will see you on December 10th at 6:00 PM as Tulsa continues to add to Christmas parade history!

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Questions? Call Us at (918) 732-9403

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