NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – When the 64th Annual Nashville Christmas Parade begins on Dec. 2, it will follow a new route through the city.

This year it will start on top of the Woodland Street Bridge, head down First Street and go up Broadway.

The new path is designed to make it a better viewing experience for the public, says Stephen Francescon, Community Relations Manager at Piedmont Natural Gas, which sponsors the Christmas Parade.

Francescon says families will have more space along the riverfront to get a better look at the floats and balloons.

In addition, this year the performance zone is closer to the end of the parade, at Fifth Avenue and Broadway.

While the parade route may be different, this Nashville tradition remains a classic extravaganza.

It features more than 500 performers and celebrities, including Grand Marshal Mike Fisher, former captain of the Nashville Predators, who will travel the whole route. He’ll have company from Tweety Bird, Twinkle the Snowman and Foofa the Drum Majorette. There are 15 character balloons in all, some as tall as 30 feet.

Santa and his reindeer will be there, suspended in air, enjoying the beat of a dozen marching bands, including the Aristocrat of Bands from Tennessee State University.

The band MercyMe will be Honorary Music Marshals. Other performers include Adairs Run, Benita Washington, Evin, Halfway to Hazard, Josh Gallagher, Maggie Rose, MARi, Rachel Potter, Shenandoah, Temecula Road and Ty Herndon.

An estimated 50,000 to 80,000 people are expected to line the streets.

The best seats in the house will be in the Performance Zone, where you can see celebrities, singers, bands and big balloons up close. For Performance Zone ticket information click here.   

If you can’t make it to see the parade in person, you can watch it on News 2, starting at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 2.

The Nashville Christmas Parade is brought to you by Piedmont Natural Gas and Tootsies.