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2023 Annual Holiday Parade


The 54th Annual Holiday Parade - New York State of Mind

Watch the 54th Annual  Holiday Parade Online Now. Celebrate your "New York State of Mind" and kick off the holiday season with Schenectady County. The 54th Annual Holiday Parade turned out to be the best and brightest parade yet. You can relive the magic and watch the full parade online or revisit some of your favorite moments.

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A Look Back at Some Favorite Moments from the 54th Annual Holiday Parade

What an incredible parade! The 54th Annual Holiday Parade illuminated downtown Schenectady with holiday cheer, showcasing what makes New York and Schenectady County a great place to live, work, and play. From the snow-capped Adirondacks to the bright lights of Broadway, all the charming villages, bustling towns, and vibrant cities along the banks of the Erie, and everything in between, the Northeast's largest nighttime parade brought joy and put everyone in a New York State of Mind.

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Meet the Grand Marshal

Members of the New York Air Guard's 109th Airlift Wing salutes New York State Governor Kathy Hochul at the 54th Annual Holiday Parade on November 18, 2023 in Downtown Schenectady.

The 109th Airlift Wing

Schenectady County takes great pride in being the home of the New York Air National Guard's 109th Airlift Wing.  As a fitting tribute to their 75 anniversary, the 109th Airlift Wing served as the 54th Grand Marshal. This celebration not only marks their incredible milestone but also acknowledges the invaluable service they provide to our country and local community.

The 109th Airlift Wing flies the world's only ski-equipped C-130 and actively supports critical climate research in Antarctica and Greenland and logistical support for other arctic missions. The pilots and crew at the 109th are experts at operating at the planet's poles landing on snow and ice. Skilled members of the "skiway" team use snowmobiles to groom safe landing zones for the aircraft.

Award-Winning Floats, Spectacular Performances, and New York Spirit

Best Overall Award

Best Overall Award

"Baby Herc" and the 109th Airlift Wing

New York State of Mind Award

New York State of Mind Award

The New York State Thruway Authority

Best Movement & Dance Award

Best Movement & Dance Award

Schenectady High School Dance Department

Best Live Performance Award

Best Live Performance Award

Schenectady Caribbean Day

The Red Suspenders Award

The Red Suspenders Award

Stanford Heights Fire Department

Special Guests & Memorable Highlights

New York State Governor Kathy Hochul visited the parade

New York State Governor Kathy Hochul stopped by, welcomed everyone to the parade, including the New York Air National Guard 109th Airlift Wing on their 75th Anniversary, and helped light the Downtown Schenectady Holiday Tree. Just before the parade arrived, students from Schenectady High School's Campus in Our Community Program at Proctors performed "New York, New York" for the governor.

Schenectady County Towns and Village On Parade!

All aboard! The Town of Rotterdam pulled into the station with the Rotterdam Express. The new municipal division spotlighted many of the towns and villages that make Schenectady County a unique place.  The Rotterdam Express was joined by the Town of Duanesburg Volunteer Ambulance Corp, the Village of Scotia, and the Town of Glenville's Oktoberfest Float.

Schenectady County Veterans Join Parade as Guests of Honor

Schenectady County veterans continue to play an important role in our community, even after their service. This year, veterans from all branches of service joined the 54th Annual Holiday Parade as special guests of honor in the first annual Veterans Division. The distinguished division was supported by the Schenectady County Veterans Agency, MVP Healthcare, and CDTA.

Rock'n Around the Christmas Tree at the Pre-Parade Block Party

Thousands of people ventured downtown at the 2nd Annual Pre-Parade Block Party hosted by Schenectady County. Young parade-goers and the young at heart enjoyed meeting their favorite holiday characters, grabbed a cup of hot cocoa from their favorite cafe, and had some festive fun in the Jay Street Kids Zone.  

The Rogues warmed up the crowd and got people dancing in the street. The cold didn't stop the five-piece party band from bringing the heat, performing an electric set of classic rock and golden oldies.  UAlbany's acapella group, Pitch Please strolled along the neighborhood caroling before taking the mainstage.

The Ice Man can turn any ordinary block of ice into an amazing work of art.  Using chainsaws, drills, chisels, and his imagination, this Michelangelo of Ice carved out a single snowflake. Spectators watched in awe as the snowflake took shape with intricate detail right on State Street.

A Fun Evening Filled with Smiles & Holiday Cheer!

Did you have a favorite float or parade entry? 

Check out our photo gallery on Flickr. Thank you to Jess Disano at Sweet Snaps Photography for capturing the moment as it was happening. 

View Photo Gallery