19th Annual Holiday Lights Parade to Light up Downtown Arlington Dec. 9, 2023
By Office of Communication
Posted on November 30, 2023, November 30, 2023

Holiday Lights Parade

Editor's Note: This article, originally published Nov. 20, was updated Nov. 30 with additional event details.

The Holiday Lights Parade is one of Downtown Arlington’s biggest and brightest Christmas celebrations. But this volunteer-organized holiday spectacular is much more than just a parade, organizers say.

“The Holiday Lights Parade is a way to kick off the Christmas season as a community. We want to create a magical experience for families to come and make memories together and see all of the great things that are happening here in Downtown,” said Elle Stubbs, who has been a parade volunteer since planning first began in 2001. “With the festive floats, marching bands and classic cars, to the official tree lighting, live performances and photos with Santa —we love that this event has become a tradition for so many Arlington residents.”

This year’s Holiday Lights Parade is set for Saturday, Dec. 9, 2023, with activities starting at 2 p.m. and ending around 9 p.m. It takes about 400 volunteers to make the free community event run smoothly, Stubbs said.

Reindeer Games/Pictures with Santa
2 p.m. – 5 p.m.
George W. Hawkes Downtown Library

 The Downtown Library is the place to be before the parade. Bring your camera for a chance to get your picture taken with Santa in front of the Vandergriff Poinsettia Tree in the library lobby between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. Visitors can also sign up for a library card. The Downtown Library is located at 100 S. Center St., just north of Arlington City Hall.

Pre-Parade Entertainment
2 p.m. - 6 p.m.
First Baptist Church of Arlington’s North Lawn, Founders Plaza and J. Gilligan's

 Family friendly activities will also start at 2 p.m. on the First Baptist Church’s North Lawn, where the Dream sculpture is located. Then at 3:45 p.m., activities coordinated by Levitt Pavilion Arlington will begin at Founders Plaza, located just south of City Hall. The schedule includes the Miss Persis Elf Show and performances by Hankins Band at 4:30 p.m. and September Moon at 5 p.m.

Young Guitars and Stars will perform at J. Gilligan's Bar and Grill, 400 E. Abram St., from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Holiday Lights Parade
6 p.m. - 7 p.m.
Downtown Arlington

The parade kicks off at 6 p.m. at the intersection of Lampe and South streets. From there, it moves through Downtown before ending at Cooper and Abram streets. Visit the Parade website for a route map. More than 100 entries, including floats, marching bands, equestrian teams, drum lines and classic cars, are expected. This year's Grand Marshal is Texas Rangers Hitting Coach Seth Conner and his family.

Announcers will be stations throughout the route, with a Spanish-speaking parade announcer located near Worthington National Bank at 200 W. Main St. Handicap parking is available in the lot at South Street and Oak Street.

Tree Lighting Ceremony
7 p.m. – 7:15 p.m.
Founders Plaza

At the conclusion of the parade, Mayor Jim Ross and Santa Claus will flip the switch to light up the Downtown Christmas Tree, a spectacular 65-foot tree designed especially for Arlington.

Pictures with Santa
7:15 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Levitt Pavilion

Following the Tree Lighting, bring your camera and take pictures with Santa after the parade at the Levitt Pavilion in Founders Plaza. A special appearance will be made by Mrs. Clause. DJ Gurrl will perform.

Stay Up-to-Date on Parade Event Schedules

 Please note that all times are approximate and are subject to change. Stubbs said the parade, now in its 19th year, will continue as planned even if there is rain or snow, but not during icy conditions, lightning or other safety concerns. The event has only been canceled three times since it first began in 2002, including during the coronavirus pandemic.

Be sure to visit the Holiday Lights Parade website, holidaylightsparade.com and Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/LightsParade for the latest and most up-to-date information.


The Holiday Lights Parade would like to thank its generous sponsors, including the Arlington Tomorrow Foundation, Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson, LLP, and Republic Services, for helping make this year’s festivities possible.

Downtown Arlington, Holidays, Arlington Tomorrow Foundation
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