Every year my sister's family & my husband and I go to the annual Holiday Festival in the town we grew up in (our parents still live there). It used to be a simple daytime parade with Santa at the end when we were kids, but now it's all day festival downtown with carriage rides, a petting zoo & sidewalk sales. All the local businesses pass out hot cocoa too.
Around 7, the parade starts and all the floats and cars are decorated with lights--it's really cool! Afterwards, everyone meets down at the city hall for the tree lighting ceremony and visits with Santa. Oh--and they always have a giant Christmas mailbox set out for letters to santa that is up from Thanksgiving-Christmas Eve. It's a very cool, traditional small-town Christmas kind of thing--I love it!