How to Enter the Sarasota Holiday Parade

Our 27th Anniversary Theme: Happy Holidays Around The World

Presented by Sarasota Holiday Celebration Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

Important Dates for 2023

Fri., Oct. 13

Online entry CLOSES at 11:59 p.m. No late entries will be accepted.

Fri., Nov. 3

Last day turn in insurance paperwork and pay entry fee.

Mon., Nov. 13

MANDATORY meeting to receive staging instructions.

Sat., Dec. 2

Parade Day!

Parade Entry Types

1.Motorized vehicle or float with people and/or small animals riding in float (NO WALKERS).

2.Motorized vehicle or float with people and/or small animals riding in float and/or walking alongside. (MOTORIZED VEHICLE AND WALKERS)

3.Walkers and/or performers only (NO MOTORIZED VEHICLE OR FLOAT).

4.Horses (with or without trailers).

Entry Fees

Once you submit your entry and insurance info and it is approved, you’ll receive a PayPal link to make payment. The deadline for this will be announced.

  • Businesses/For-profit organizations: $300
  • Nonprofit organizations: $150


Every participant organization, whether entering a motorized, nonmotorized, walking, or horse unit, must supply proof of insurance. A general liability and automobile liability insurance policy at limits of $1 million combined single limit for bodily injury and property damage shall be carried for each entry. If your organization has only walkers then you only need the General Liability insurance. If you have floats with people on them or walking beside them, then you must provide General Liability And Automobile insurance.

Two Certificates of Insurance and the endorsement pages must be filed with Sarasota Holiday Celebration Inc. by the stated deadline in order to participate in the parade. Each COI must contain an additional insureds clause and cancellation clause per the instructions below.

The event that the insurance is covering—Sarasota Holiday Parade, December 2, 2023—must be in the Description of Operations/Locations/Vehicles section of each COI. In addition to the COIs, the endorsement page of the policy must also be provided, naming those additional insureds.

Additional Insured Clause

Sarasota Holiday Celebration, Inc. and the City of Sarasota must be listed in the “Additional Insured” block on their respective COI as follows:

Sarasota Holiday Celebration Inc.
402 W. Cornelius Circle
Sarasota, FL 34232

City of Sarasota
c/o Special Events Office
1565 First Street
Sarasota, FL 34236

This is to address liability arising out of any operation of named insured in connection with the Sarasota Holiday Parade. The insurance afforded by the policy to said Additional Insureds shall be primary insurance and any other valid and collectible insurance available to said Additional Insureds shall be excess insurance.

Cancellation Clause

This policy of liability insurance shall not be cancelled or suspended or terminated, nor shall the limits of liability be reduced, until after 30 days’ notice is given by certified mail to: Sarasota Holiday Celebration Inc., 402 W. Cornelius Circle, Sarasota, FL 34232

Rules and Regulations

Entries are approved by Sarasota Holiday Celebration Inc. based on overall show value. The parade is an entertainment medium, and the contribution of each unit to this concept is critical. Use of theme, artistic beauty, color, animation, special effects, originality, rider personnel, costumes, and visual appeal all come into play in determining the acceptability of the entry. Sarasota Holiday Celebration Inc. strives to present a parade that will be enjoyed by the general community. The Sarasota Holiday Parade is not a platform for political, religious, or social issues. No entry will be permitted to participate in the parade if, in the judgment of Sarasota Holiday Celebration Inc., it reflects such issues. By applying for entry, it’s understood and agreed upon that the decision of Sarasota Holiday Celebration Inc. is discretionary and final.

The safety of parade participants and spectators is our primary concern. Your cooperation is anticipated and appreciated. To this end, parade monitors and safety marshals will be stationed along the parade route. Each entry and participant is subject to immediate ejection from the parade for any action deemed to be in violation of parade rules and regulations.

Due to excess refuse on the streets after the parade, and for the safety of participants and spectators, effective in 2022 participants are not allowed to hand out items along the parade route. All items are prohibited and include coupons, flyers, candy, flags, beads, etc. Any questions can be directed to the

All Participants

  • All participants (floats, walkers, bands, etc.) MUST incorporate the stated theme in their music, float design, and costumes.
  • Entries MUST be of family-friendly entertainment value.
  • No Santa Claus replica may be part of any other entry other than the official Santa Claus float at the end of the parade. No drivers or participants may dress like Santa. Anyone dressed as Santa (excluding animals) will be asked to leave the parade.
  • We are no longer allowed to have any items thrown or given away during the parade. This includes candy, flyers, coupons, or any other items. to include any Confetti or Confetti Cannons.
  • No open fires are permitted in the parade line-up area.
  • Firearms or fireworks of any kind are prohibited at all times.
  • Smoking and drinking alcoholic beverages in or around the parade is prohibited.


  • All floats must be decorated with the stated holiday theme.
  • The tow unit must be fully powered and decorated with the theme of the float. If the driver is visible to the public, the driver must be in costume consistent with the theme of the float (again, no Santa or Mrs. Claus costumes are permitted.)
  • No tow unit may display a commercial name or logo other than that of the organization entering the parade.

Walking Units

  • Walking units include musical groups, drill teams, or unique units approved by Sarasota Holiday Celebration Inc. Children under 14 years of age may participate in the parade, with adult supervision.
  • A walking unit may not have a van or other vehicle following its walkers. If it does, it would be considered a float. (Again, read the entry form instructions carefully when selecting your entry type.)
  • All walkers must be in costumes that reflect the stated holiday theme.


  • Participants who wish to have animals in their float or walking unit must indicate so in their entry.
  • Persons riding horses must be dressed in some type of costume or uniform.
  • Any entry with horses or other animals must provide a clean-up crew responsible for cleaning and disposal of any waste produced by animals along the parade route and in the staging area. Failure to comply will result in ejection from parade.
  • All animals must be in costumes or decorations consistent with the theme of the unit.
  • All animals, if walking, must be able to keep up with parade flow.


Judging is from the review stand on Main Street. Your group will be asked to perform as they pass the judging stand. Judging criteria include:

  • Appearance, originality, style, presentation
  • Adherence to the rules, etiquette, theme, organization, and planning
  • Arrival in a timely manner

Winners are announced on our website and our Facebook page. (Be sure to “Like” the page for important updates!)