With Thanksgiving fast approaching we are reminded that downtown Billings will come alive this Friday with an evening of family fun and Christmas spirit.   Join the Downtown Billings Association as it presents a Gingerbread Christmas with the Holiday Parade, Christmas Stroll and the Santa Dash for Cash.

Here are five things that you shouldn't miss Friday night.

1: The Santa's Dash for Cash:  New this year just before the Holiday Parade will be Santa Dash for Cash fun run, presented by the Downtown Billings Alliance (DBA) and Dale & Jax Door and Class.

This is a three-quarter-mile run with prizes for all paid participants. Everyone is encouraged to dress as their favorite holiday character.

All registered participants get a Santa shirt,Santa hat and an "Elf Envelope" with prizes and up to $100 in cash.

2: The 31st Annual Holiday Parade: The Holiday Parade will start at 7 p.m. in downtown Billings following a community tree-lighting at Billings First Church on North 27th Street and Third Avenue.

The parade will follow the usual route, starting at North 27th Street and Third Avenue and proceeding west on Third Avenue to North 32nd Street and returning down Second Avenue..

Watch for several local businesses to be open throughout the parade and live music, too.

3:  The 25th Annual Christmas Stroll: The Christmas Stroll is hosting a Gingerbread House competition for professional architects and chefs.

The Gingerbread houses will be displayed in the storefront window at 112 N. Broadway Ave. The winner will receive a $500 donation to the charity of his or her choice.

There will be a People's Choice award; the public is encouraged to cast its vote at the DBA Information Booth located under Skypoint.

There will be Christmas caroling and Christmas trees for sale from the DBA.

4:  Santa:  Bring the kids because Santa will be in the lobby of the Northern Hotel prior to the parade.

5:  Stores open late:  Participating businesses will decorate their storefronts, offer treats and remain open later for your shopping convenience.

Enjoy the Christmas decorations, food and fun in downtown Billings this Friday. Dress warm as the temperature will be cold.

Also, don't forget to take advantage of Small Business Saturday this weekend.

What are some of your favorite memoirs of the Holiday Parade over the years?