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Plan your holidays before the parade passes by.

Who doesn’t love a parade? Even in Wisconsin, where the weather turns cold and blustery, we bundle up the kids, put hot liquid into the thermos, grab a few lawn chairs and find a good spot along the curb to watch the array of bands, floats, costumed characters and dancers. And at the very end, the excited squeals start to rumble along the route as anxious children first spot Santa on his ornate throne.

This Sunday, Waukesha County’s biggest parade wends its way through downtown Waukesha streets starting at 4 p.m.

Kids can bring their letters to Santa and give them to the mail carriers at the start of the parade or to Santa’s elves at the end. Be sure to include your name and address to receive a return note from Santa.

Before the parade, stroll through the festive downtown shops and enjoy carolers singing traditional holiday tunes and costumed characters handing out treats. Stop by Cuddles/Martha Merrell’s Books in the heart of downtown from noon to 3 p.m. for pictures with Santa, then stake out your curbside spot.

Let the holidays begin!

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