The best Lighted Christmas Parade in Iowa

Dec 2nd, 2023 will mark the 36th annual Lighted Christmas Parade in Oskaloosa, Iowa. If you haven’t been to Osky (how the locals refer to it) to see the town square lit up or the lighted Christmas Parade – you need to add this to your bucket list!

For 2023, the parade starts at 7pm on the downtown square in Oskaloosa, Iowa.

If you’re heading to Oskaloosa for the parade, I would also recommend the following:

  • Grab a bit to eat at Tasos Steakhouse
  • Tour the Book Vault, an independent bookstore on the town square that’s stationed in an old bank. It even has old vaults which house specific collections.
  • Grab a drink from Smokey Row Coffee
  • or walk through the alley which runs alongside Smokey Row Coffee, the alley has Christmas lights and volunteers are usually out pouring free hot apple cider!
  • Walk around the town square, which is filled with thousands of holiday lights that are presented on the front of all the shops in the town square.

Aerial view of the lighted Christmas parade on the town square in Oskaloosa, Iowa. . This town is ready for Christmas – the only thing missing was a fresh blanket of snow.

The band shelter sits in the center of the town square. A local band was playing Christmas music as the crowd gathered. (and the trumpet belted out GO HAWKS! tune as well.

The crowds line the streets, waiting for the lighted Christmas parade to start.

Oh my… this tree was amazing, the colors slowly shifted and changed.

To my surprise, the town had volunteers/workers distributing hand warmers during the parade, for FREE!

Lots of lighted floats directed towards kids – Buzz and Woody even made an appearance.

YouTube video
Short video clip of the Lighted Christmas Parade in Oskaloosa, Iowa.

The view from the bandstand in the town square.

Lighted floats going past the crowds at the Lighted Christmas Parade. The red-lighted structure in the back is the Mahaska County Courthouse.

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  1. Brian you should send this to the today show in their hometown Christmas contest. We in Oskaloosa are so proud of our town and the Hallmark feel at Christmas! And yes I have entered it too!