Economic impact of Philadelphia's Christmas parade

PHILADELPHIA, Miss. (WTOK) -- Philadelphia's annual Christmas parade spreads more than just holiday cheer, it gives the city a much-needed economic shot in the arm.

2018 Philadelphia Christmas parade (Photo Source: WTOK-TV)

Thousands are expected to line the streets to catch a glimpse of St. Nick and his friends in Philadelphia's annual Christmas parade.

"You've had Christmas shopping going on since November but usually a Christmas parade is one of those stamps that says okay, December is here. It's Christmas time," said Tim Moore, the executive director of Philadelphia Main Street.

Moore says the parade is good for the city, including local businesses and restaurants that rely on holiday sales.

For the past 15 years, George Yates, owner of Ye Old Drugstore Deli has stayed open late to feed hungry parade-goers.

"A lot of people who don't come in on the regular basis because they work, they come in now because of the parade," said Yates. "We see a lot of neighbors and friends that we usually don't see."

Moore says this year's parade has over 115 entries, including three school marching bands. He expects this year's turnout to be bigger than most years.

"if you drive around Philadelphia right now, all you'll see is cars. That's just where people have parked them just to have a spot for the parade."