History of the Children's Christmas Parade
The Children’s Christmas Parade, formerly known as the Festival of Trees Parade, began in 1981 when volunteers at the Festival of Trees decided the best way to kick-off the Festival was with a holiday parade on Peachtree Street. That first year, the volunteers put together a small processional and 3,000 people lined the streets to welcome Santa to Atlanta. In 1984, Davison’s, in conjunction with WXIA-11 Alive, decided to co-sponsor the Parade and bring it into the homes and hearts of all of Georgia. In 1985, Davison’s became Macy’s and the Parade became the Macy’s-Egleston Christmas Parade. Macy’s brought helium balloons, invited award winning bands and built a spectacular sleigh for Santa. In 1988, Egleston contracted with Blaine Kern of Mardi Gras fame to design and create enormous, animated floats adding yet another dimension to the holiday extravaganza. In 1998, Egleston Children's Health Care System and Scottish Rite Children's Medical Center officially merged to become Children's Healthcare of Atlanta and the Parade became the Children’s Christmas Parade.