The Jacksonville-Onslow Chamber of Commerce is upping holiday spirit by about 25 percent this year.

That’s how many more entries will be taking part this year in its annual Christmas Holiday Parade, which will be held Saturday along Western Boulevard.

“We have about 40 more entries than we had last year, so we’re close to 200 entries,” Jacksonville Onslow Chamber of Commerce special events manager Sabrina Thomas said.

Along with the newcomers, paradegoers can still expect to see their favorites, like Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus, local high school bands and the Marine Corps band, Thomas said.

The professional and amateur float entries will be judged before the parade begins.

“They get a banner as soon as they win, so as they’re going down the parade line, everyone will know who won,” Thomas said. Floats are judged on overall appearance, showmanship, originality and the theme of the parade: Christmas through the Eyes of a Child. Floats will receive bonus points for a musical presentation, and judges will take note if everyone on the float is participating, Thomas added.

The parade is expected to begin around 9:45 a.m. Saturday, starting from Coastal Carolina Community College and traveling down Western Boulevard toward N.C. 24. The parade will end at the Brynn Marr Shopping Center around noon, Thomas said.

Western Boulevard will be closed to traffic beginning at 9 a.m. and will reopen following the parade’s conclusion.

For those who can’t make it to watch the parade in person, WITN will be showing the parade live, as well as rebroadcasting it at noon on Christmas Eve.

For more information about the parade, visit