Parade of Lights will be back outside, open to the public this year

(Photo by Anthony Mosley)

The GM Financial Parade of Lights will illuminate the streets of Downtown Fort Worth on Sunday, Nov. 21, at 6 p.m., marking the 39th year the Parade of Lights has been the city’s official kickoff to the holiday season.

Reserved “Street Seats” are available for purchase now starting at $15.

What began in 1983 with a crowd of only 25,000 spectators and 25 floats has grown to become Fort Worth’s most beloved holiday tradition and Texas’ largest illuminated holiday procession. In 2020, due to COVID-19, the parade took place inside the Fort Worth Convention Center in front of a virtual audience, but garnered an Emmy nomination for its live broadcast on KTXA-TV and Facebook.

In 2021, North Texas families can once again gather to experience the melodies of energetic marching bands, 100-plus professionally designed floats, sparkling antique cars, precision equestrian units, festive horse-drawn carriages, and carolers spreading holiday cheer along the parade route.

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The event will conclude with Santa and Mrs. Claus appearing on the specially designed, LED-lit, grand finale float.

“Downtown Fort Worth Initiatives Inc. first produced the Parade of Lights to showcase the rich culture and community of Downtown Fort Worth,” said Nina Petty, chair of the organization’s Festivals and Events Committee. “Thirty-nine years later, this mission stands true, and we are thrilled to bring this tradition back to the streets of Downtown and do our part to ‘make spirits bright’ for our beloved community.”

The parade is free and open-to-the-public, but reserved seating is available for purchase in advance.

Applications are open until Oct. 15 for those interested in entering a float in the 2021 parade.

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Hundreds of volunteers are what make the parade a success year-after-year, with opportunities available in hospitality, merchandise sales, stand and seating attendants, staging areas, entry check-in, and more. Volunteers can sign up online.