CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The City of Charleston is making final preparations for its Christmas parade Thursday.
The parade is being hosted by the City of Charleston and the Charleston Town Center Mall.
The number of people and groups making up this year's parade has nearly doubled in size since last year's. In order to accommodate all the entries, organizers have shifted the times around to allow participants more time to prepare for the parade.
According to the City of Charleston, 77 organizations took part in the parade last year. More than 140 are taking part this year.
The parade itself will begin Thursday at 7 p.m. Parade lineup will start at about 5 p.m. on the Kanawha Boulevard.
The floats entered in the parade will be judged during line-up.
Due to the overwhelming number of entries for the parade, the Boulevard will be closed from Morris Street to Florida Street beginning at 2:30 p.m. to allow those participating to put finishing touches on their entries.
The road will reopen once the parade is over.
The parade route, which will begin on Capitol Street and end on Clendenin Street where it intersects with Kanawha Boulevard, will close down at 6:45 p.m. and will stay closed during the parade.
For the first time in years, the Christmas Parade is being held at night on a weekday. In year's past, the parade was held early on a Saturday morning. According to the mayor, the decision was made at the request of local businesses to bring more people to Charleston.
At the beginning of October, the parade was surrounded by controversy when the mayor announced the name of the parade would be changed to the 'Charleston Winter Parade' in an effort to be more inclusive.
However, just days after the name change was announced, the decision was reversed.