Join the Savannah Riverfront Association from Dec. 6-7 to get into the holiday spirit with Christmas on the River.

One highlight is the annual Lighted Christmas Parade, which marks the arrival of St. Nick. But there's lots more, including music at Rousakis Plaza and the stages on River Street.

"The festival starts (Dec. 6) at 4 p.m.," says Carrie Bligh, senior director of operations for the Savannah Riverfront Association. We'll have a lot of music going on on the Main Stage (Dec. 6 and 7). We'll have a big blowup movie screen and on (Dec. 6), we're going to be showing 'Elf.'

"Everyone should bring lawn chairs and blankets. We'll have hot chocolate and cookies. We'll be doing some fun contests, too, including an elf dress-up competition."

There also will be children's activities, including ornament and card crafts.

"On (Dec. 7), there'll be music on the stage all day," Bligh says.

"After the parade passes the stage, we're going to kick off Velvet Caravan playing at 6:30 p.m.

"They'll do some Christmas music and regular music, as well. We'll have artists and crafters down there," she says. "Visitors can get some local stocking stuffers and gifts from our local artists."

The lighted parade will be bigger than ever.

"We're up around 500 walkers and 80 units," Bligh says. "That includes walkers, floats, car clubs and everything else.

"Everything is lit up and it is a very visually bright parade," she says. "It lasts about two hours from start to finish."

There is also a route change this year. In recent years, Ellis Square has become too congested for parents to pick up their children who have walked in the parade.

"The parade starts on River Street and goes up the East Broad Street ramp to Bay Street, from Bay to Abercorn, from Abercorn to Broughton and will end at Broughton and Jefferson," she says. "In years past, we've ended at Ellis Square, but for safety reasons, we've moved it."