Deadline looms for Parade of Lights float entries

(Photo by Brian Luenser)

As the holiday season rapidly approaches, the deadline to enter a float in the annual GM Financial Parade of Lights is just days away – entries must be submitted by Friday (Oct. 7).

A perennial favorite, the parade brightens the streets of downtown Fort Worth with illuminated floats, performances, holiday décor, live music and thousands of twinkling lights. First presented in 1983, the parade drew a crowd of 25,000, according to Gloria Starling, chair of the festivals and events committee of Downtown Fort Worth Initiatives Inc., which coordinates of the event.

“Forty years later, the once small attraction has quadrupled in size to become Texas’ largest illuminated holiday parade,” Starling said. “Yet the mission remains the same. We are thrilled to transform downtown once again into a magical winter wonderland.”

The parade begins at 6 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 20, and as in past  years nonprofit organizations, businesses, schools and cultural groups will delight crowds along the approximately 1.5-mile parade route with their dazzling floats, joining with marching bands, carolers, festive vintage autos and horse-drawn carriages to herald the arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus. This year’s theme is “Lights, Camera…Christmas!”

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To enter a float or other marching unit, visit

More than 100 floats are expected to be included in this year’s parade and organizers will notify those accepted for participation by Oct. 19. Entries will be judged on creativity, originality and use of illumination and special effects.

Although the parade is free, reserved seats are available for purchase starting at $18. Organizers are also seeking volunteers to help make the event successful.

Besides GM Financial as title sponsor, signature sponsors include Tarrant County College, Karen and Larry Anfin and Dr. Marie A. Holliday. Media sponsors are 95.9 The Ranch FM and 92.1 Hank FM.