Longview Christmas Parade

The Grinch rides a Longview Transit bus in the 2018 Longview Christmas Parade. This year's parade begins at 6:30 p.m. in downtown Longview. (Michael Cavazos/News-Journal Photo)

Several downtown streets are set to close beginning at 5:30 p.m. Thursday as part of the Longview Ambucs Christmas Parade, which kicks off at 6:30.

The parade starts at the intersection of Green and Whaley streets then travels west along Whaley, turns south onto Horaney Street, turns east along Methvin Street and ends at the intersection of Methvin and Green.

Barricades will be placed around an approximate eight-block staging area east of the Gregg County Courthouse and the 300 block of East Methvin Street, according to the city. Most downtown streets should re-open later Thursday. However, some limited street closures will remain in effect to accommodate Saturday's Christmas at the Courthouse event.

Access to the outdoor drive-through locations of Texas Bank and Trust will be permitted until 6 p.m.

The city urges motorists to use extra caution when driving near the parade route and staging area. 

The theme for this year's parade is “Songs of the Season” and is hosted by the Longview Main Street program in conjunction with One Hundred Acres of Heritage.

Thursday's parade begins a weekend of Christmas-themed events in downtown Longview.

First United Methodist Church and the Longview Museum of Fine Arts have scheduled breakfast with Santa events Saturday morning, while the Gregg County Historical Museum and Longview World of Wonders children’s discovery center also are set to open their doors Saturday for holiday activities.

Saturday concludes with the Christmas at the Courthouse event, which will feature a magic show, petting zoo and pony rides, photo booth, Christmas Express train food and more, all for free.