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Originally published Thursday, November 22, 2007 at 12:00 AM

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Weekend highlight

Macy's parade kicks off the season

Get your Christmas spirit in gear at the Holiday Parade Friday morning in downtown Seattle. Santa's the star of the show, arriving at Macy's...

Seattle Times staff

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Get your Christmas spirit in gear at the Holiday Parade Friday morning in downtown Seattle. Santa's the star of the show, arriving at Macy's at the end of the parade in the midst of a confetti snowstorm. (And, luckily for parade goers, that's the only precipitation forecast for Friday.)

The parade will feature balloon floats, drill teams, the UW Husky and WSU Cougar marching bands and a host of regional high-school bands, clowns, cowboys, vintage Nash Metropolitan cars decorated in Christmas finery, Dalmatian and Old English sheepdog brigades and Sonics, Seahawks and Mariner mascots. Kids can snag candy tossed along the parade route and the Frango-tossing chocolate team is always a hit for all ages. The giant star at Macy's, a 50-year tradition, will light up for the season at 5 p.m. Friday along with a fireworks celebration. Other downtown holiday attractions include the Teddy Bear Suite and Festival of Trees at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel; the Gingerbread Village at the Sheraton; and the Holiday Carousel at Westlake Park. A short monorail ride away, Winterfest kicks off Friday at the Seattle Center with opening ceremonies and tree lighting at 1 p.m., with Winter Worldfest entertainment and Holiday World Market all weekend.

Parade details

Time: 8:45 a.m. Friday; live broadcast on KING-TV starting at 9 a.m., rebroadcasts on NWCN at 11 a.m. or KONG 6/16 at 6 p.m. Friday.

Location: Parade starts at Seventh Avenue and Pine Street and proceeds down Pine to Fifth Avenue; south on Fifth Avenue to University Street; west on University Street to Fourth Avenue; north on Fourth Avenue to Pine Street.

Getting there:

• Parking available on the street and in paid lots in the downtown area. Expect delays; many downtown streets will be closed and traffic rerouted Friday morning and at other times during the day because of activities downtown. Street closures begin at 7:30 a.m., and the Union Street offramp from southbound Interstate 5 will be closed approximately 8:30-11 a.m. Friday.

• The Seattle Center Monorail opens early, 8 a.m. Friday, providing easy access to the parade if you park or bus to Seattle Center: 206-905-2620 or www.seattlemonorail.com.

• Taking the bus is a good option; street closures for the parade affect some downtown bus routes: 206-553-3000 or transit.metrokc.gov/up/rr/reroutes.html.

More information: 206-506-6000 or www1.macys.com/store/event/index.ognc?action =search&storeId=411.

Madeline McKenzie: mmckenzie@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2007 The Seattle Times Company

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