Where Business and Community Connect®

The Greater Raleigh Merchants Association (GRMA) is a non-profit organization that has been a single effective voice for small business and merchants since 1940. Comprised of business owners, entrepreneurs, merchants and other professionals in the Raleigh area, GRMA promotes an environment of communication, cooperation and support for local businesses.

The Greater Raleigh Merchants Association has organized the Raleigh Christmas Parade since 1944! The Raleigh Christmas parade is the largest parade between Atlanta and Washington, DC. An estimated 65,000 will attend the parade in person and 250,000 will watch from home.

Shop Local Raleigh is a movement run by the Greater Raleigh Merchants Association. Shop Local Raleigh is all about promoting & supporting locally-owned, independent businesses. It’s about making your hard-earned money go further, fueling the local economy, & helping to preserve the unique character of Raleigh.

Thank you for shopping local and supporting your small business community.

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ABC 11 Raleigh Christmas Parade, presented by Shop Local Raleigh, is the largest Christmas Parade from Atlanta to DC. Click here to watch the 2017 parade and mark your calendars to attend in 2018 and be a part of the celebration!

Why is the Raleigh Christmas Parade held before Thanksgiving?

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Letter to our members, Raleigh Christmas Parade — Nov 13, 2017

Members-

Many of you have been asking why commercials for the Raleigh Christmas Parade are being broadcast on both WTVD-ABC11 and WRAL-NBC 5 this year, even though WTVD was the awarded exclusive broadcast rights for this year’s parade by the Greater Raleigh Merchants Association (GRMA). Questions are also being asked about the continuing newspaper articles that are trying to portray some type of “feud” between the GRMA and WRAL. Because of this situation, the board of GRMA wanted to let all of our members know the facts involved in this situation, so that the membership understands the actual events involved.

The Raleigh Christmas Parade is a Raleigh tradition, and has existed for 73 years. The parade has always been organized by the GRMA, and the GRMA owns the rights to the parade.

For a number of years, the parade has secured a title sponsor to help underwrite the costs of organizing and presenting the parade. Selling the parade title sponsorship helps our non-profit association do the work we do promoting businesses like yours and working to keep more of your hard-earned money in Raleigh. For the past decade, WRAL has been awarded the contract for the title sponsorship. As part of that contract, WRAL was awarded exclusive broadcast rights for the parade. WRAL was also permitted to sell the Gold, Silver and Bronze sponsorships packages to other businesses in our community, and WRAL was allowed to retain 100% of those sponsorship dollars. The contract with WRAL ended with the 2016 parade.