APRIL 2022​!

If you're interested in helping with the parade or volunteering with the planning committee, click here to let us know.

Your contribution makes the Handmade Parade possible!

Programs like the Hillsborough Handmade Parade are large productions, and we can't do it without YOUR support!


Click the Donate button below or keep reading to learn about other ways to support HAC!​​​

Photos of the 2018 Handmade Parade by Donn Young

The Hillsborough Handmade Parade is a grassroots community participatory celebration sponsored and organized by the Hillsborough Arts Council. This Mardi Gras style street parade is completely created by the community and includes wild costumes, giant puppets, stilt-walkers, marching bands and much more creating a spectacle of art, creativity, and public theater and music.


This year's theme is "Magical Menagerie on the Eno.” The parade will begin at 2:30 pm at the Town Hall at 101 East Orange Street and end at the Grande Finale at the Farmer's Market Pavilion and River Park.


The Grande Finale celebration will allow participants and observers to look at all of the puppets, costumes, stilt walkers, and jugglers up close and personal and to celebrate our diversity with music and dance by Batalá Durham and The Magic of African Rhythms. Food and drink will be available for purchase at the Farmers Market Pavilion and River Park.


Why a Parade?

We seek to bring our community together in a creative, nonpolitical way through a walking theatrical performance. Our primary goal is to strengthen our community by valuing and celebrating our wonderful diversity. The purpose of the parade is to foster community involvement in the arts through participation in every aspect. The informal atmosphere and hands-on character of the experience allow members of the community to work directly with artists and each other while gaining confidence in their own abilities. Most importantly, by using our collective creative energy to develop this celebration, we can overcome barriers to community participation and harmony. 


Celebration Art combines the challenges of three-dimensional design with the richness of working in the community and the excitement of watching pieces come alive with movement.

Info for 2022 parade workshops coming soon!

Information for 2022 to come.



On-Street Parking


  • Free three-hour parking is available in the following locations:

    • West and East King Street

    • Court Street

    • East Margaret Lane

  • Free all-day parking is available in the following locations:

    • West and East King Street

    • South Cameron Street

Parking Lots


  • Free three-hour parking is available in the following locations:

    • Bank of America Parking Lot, accessed from Churton and West King streets

    • Mayo Park Parking Lot, accessed from West King Street

Parking Deck

  • Free all-day parking is available in Orange County's Eno River Parking Deck, accessed from Margaret Lane or Nash and Kollock Street


Please: no written words, logos or motorized vehicles (except wheelchairs). Entries should not advertise a particular religious or political belief. All parade participants are required to be in costume. So sorry but there is no throwing candy or giving out anything such as pamphlets or brochures for this parade. (No street cleaning crew for wrappers, etc...) All groups participating in the parade must REGISTER ON-LINE.

Sign up for the Parade News e-newsletter and you will receive:


  1. The Handmade Parade Tools and Materials Guide with six pages of extensive tips, and recommendations of tools and where to find free, recycled, and economical sources for tools and materials.

  2. The Handmade Parade Puppet Building Manual with 24 pages of planning tips, recipes, and how-to sketches. 



The 2016 parade theme was "Walk of the Wild Things." Participants were invited to draw inspiration from the Maurice Sendak book titled Where the Wild Things Are as well as look to the wild creatures that inhabit the Eno River Basin.​



Special thanks to Visit Hillsborough for sponsoring the parade!



© 2021 HILLSBOROUGH ARTS COUNCIL. All rights reserved.

102 North Churton Street, Hillsborough NC 27278

(919) 643-2500