37th annual Fort Worth holiday Parade of Lights to illuminate downtown Sunday
More than a million twinkling lights will illuminate downtown Fort Worth on Sunday night as part of a high-wattage celebration of Christmas cheer.
At the 37th annual GM Financial Parade of Lights, downtown streets will be shut down to make way for a succession of more than 100 intricately designed floats, each with more than 12,000 bulbs, according to a press release from the advertising firm representing the event. Joining the floats will be marching bands, antique cars, equestrian teams, horse-drawn carriages and carolers belting holiday tunes.
And, of course, one of the main attractions is the massive Christmas tree that went up Monday morning in the heart of Sundance Square.
The parade is set to kick off 6 p.m. Sunday at the intersection of Weatherford and Throckmorton streets and end at 3rd and Throckmorton Streets. The final event, as always, will feature Santa and Mrs. Claus appearing together on the LED-lit grand finale float.
The Christmas parade began in 1983 with only 25 floats and a crowd of about 25,000 people, the release states.
Today, organizers say it’s the largest holiday parade in Texas.
“Downtown Initiatives Inc. first produced the Parade of Lights to showcase the rich culture and community of Downtown Fort Worth,” DFWI Festival and Events Committee Chairman Nina Petty said in the release. “Thirty-seven years later, that mission stands true as we continue to bring thousands of residents and visitors alike to the heart of downtown during the holiday season.”
The annual event helps to ring in the Christmas season in Fort Worth, and organizers estimate tens of thousands will pour into downtown to watch the floats and marchers pass by.
New to this year’s parade are the “sounds of the season” shows, where five local entertainers will travel block-to-block on holiday-themed platforms as they perform 15-minute sets, according to the release. Performances are set to begin at 4:30 p.m. and continue through the parade.
Attendees are also invited to take photos next to the Sundance Square Christmas tree, the release states, and check out the more than 50 food and shopping retailers throughout downtown.
The parade is set to follow a winding route through downtown Fort Worth, according to the release:
After starting at Weatherford and Throckmorton streets, the parade will continue east along Weatherford Street before turning south onto Commerce Street.
The parade will continue down Commerce Street to 9th Street, where it will proceed west to Houston Street and then north to continue on Houston Street to 2nd Street.
The parade will proceed west on 2nd to Throckmorton Street before turning south and finishing at 3rd and Throckmorton streets.
Although the parade is free and open to the public, people can purchase reserved “street seats” in advance, according to the release. The $12.95 tickets are available to purchase at FortWorthParadeOfLights.org.
Additionally, anyone can view the parade live on TV on KTXA-TV (Channel 21) or online on the Fort Worth Parade of Lights Facebook page.