Frequently Asked Questions
What time does it start?
We ask that everyone arrive early. Food trucks and vendors will be in place by 6 PM. The parade itself will start at 7 PM, commencing at the Riverside Artist Square located under the Fuller Warren Bridge. The parade officially ends at Laura Street with a fireworks show at 8:55 PM.
Does it cost anything to walk in the parade & do I need a lantern?
No. There is no fee. Just make sure you have a lantern or something that glows. Be creative!
Do I need to register to walk?
No. Show up with your lantern before 7 PM and join in anywhere along the route, preferably at the Fuller Warren Bridge starting point to walk the entire path.
Will there be lanterns for sale at the event?
Yes, but only a limited number. When they are gone, they’re gone. Vendors will be selling glow sticks and other illuminated items at the starting point under the Fuller Warren Bridge. Also, lanterns will be for sale at several special events, art shows and public happenings in January and February leading up to the parade date. Here's a list of events at which lanterns will be available for sale prior to February 15.
How will I illuminate my lantern?
All lanterns MUST be battery operated. NO live flames are permitted. Also, lanterns must be carried by participants at all times and cannot be released into the air. As per Florida Statute 791.02, lanterns with live flames are not permitted. Only battery-operated lanterns will be allowed in the parade. No lanterns of any kind will be released during this event.
Wait... we won’t be releasing the lanterns into the air?
No. It is illegal to do so in Florida. And possibly dangerous considering the Downtown location. Again... No!
How long is the route?
The official starting and ending points are about two miles apart. However, it's not required that anybody walk any farther than he or she is able. Walk part of the route or finish the entire course. It's up to you, but remember that comfortable shoes are a MUST. Also, be aware of where you have parked and factor this into your parading plans.
Where should I park?
It's up to you. Street parking, public surface lots, multi-level garages—there are numerous options in and around the Downtown area. If you are driving, plan to arrive early to secure the best space. Carpooling is highly recommended. This is also a good night for a car service like Uber. Ask to be dropped off and picked up at either end of the route. Do not expect to park at the Riverside Artist Square lot.
Is it okay to bring a bike?
Biking to the parade route is encouraged, too. However, bicyclists who wish to participate in the parade must dismount and walk during the procession. All bikers will need to park and lock their cycles. Event organizers will not be responsible for bicycle security.
Can I bring my dog?
Sure, if he is properly leashed at all times. In fact, dress up your furry friend in his best glowing outfit. There will be a contest for the best illuminated pet costumes.
Where can I join the parade?
You may join in anywhere there is access to the Riverwalk. Your method of transportation and point of arrival may determine the best point of entry for you. Click here to see the complete map of the route.
Will there be food or drinks?
Yes, there will be food trucks and drink vendors at the start and end points.
Will medical personnel and police be present?
Yes. We are coordinating with the City of Jacksonville and its public safety services to ensure the event is fun and safe for all.
Can I bring a drone?
No. To better ensure the parade walkers' safety drones are not permitted.
Will there be bathrooms?
Permanent and portable bathroom units will be available at both ends of the parade route. Garbage cans will also be located at each end and along the parade route. Let's do our best to keep the Riverwalk and the St. Johns clean. Please dispose of all trash appropriately.
Want more info? Jacksonville Magazine publisher Joseph White spoke to WJCT's Melissa Ross about the inaugural event in January 2018. Click here to listen to their conversation.