Family Fun at the Fort Worth Parade of Lights

by Jessica on November 22, 2011

The lights at night are big and bright deep in the heart of Fort Worth Texas' Sundance Square, as the Chesapeake Parade of Lights is set to illuminate the downtown area.  First staged in 1983, the parade was designed to celebrate family and togetherness in a spirited way to kick off the holiday season.  From fairly humble beginnings, the parade has grown to be one of the top illuminated parades in the country.  For the 29th annual parade the theme will be "Christmas Delights" as over 100 fully illuminated floats and countless area bands and performing groups parade down Fort Worth's Main Street. 

We have been attending the parade as an annual tradition since the early nineties and have been thrilled to see it grow into a parade that is both highly anticipated and attended.  Holiday themed activities both before and after the parade, as well as a community wide emphasis on charitable giving during the parade have kept us coming back year after year. 

The parade is traditionally scheduled for the Friday after Thanksgiving-November 25th this year-and will begin around 6 pm.  The Holiday Fun Zone opens at 2:00 pm with entertainment, holiday themed crafts for the kids, and delicious food and coffee. The lighting of the Sundance Square Christmas Tree will take place immediately following the parade, and afterwards kids can have their photos taken with Santa Claus, supporting the Fort Worth Sister Cities Youth Scholarships Program.  Bring your chair to the Chisholm Trail parking lot to see a special viewing of the animated holiday movie, "Polar Express" starring Tom Hanks. 

Know Before You Go:

  • Admission to the parade is free, but spectators are encouraged to bring a new, unwrapped toy to donate to the Cowboy Santas who will be collecting throughout the parade route
  • The sidewalk next to Pier One Imports is a great place to sit for families, as Pier One is very friendly about using their restrooms and Subway and Starbucks are within close distance should you need a little refreshment
  • Reserved seats can be purchased from the Parade of Lights website, allowing you to hold your seat while you enjoy the Holiday Fun Zone.  Seats start at $10 each with discounts for children and families.  These tickets are well worth the cost and really enhance the enjoyment of the parade.
  • TRE transportation is available for free after 4:00 pm, and saves the hassle of finding parking and navigating through the after parade traffic.
  • If you do park your car at Sundance Square, use the parking garage across from the Bass Performance Hall for the best parking and easiest in and out access.
  • If you are planning to enjoy the Tree Lighting or any of the other activities after the parade, make every attempt to sit near this section of the parade route.  Moving through the crowds after the parade is very tricky.
  • Hit the dollar store before the parade and stock up on glow sticks and necklaces to add to the parade fun.


Melissa Cleaver November 23, 2011 at 1:08 am

Thanks so much for dropping by the Be-Bop-A Blog Hop!  I'm a follower and I hope you'll stop by again soon!  Have a great day!  :)

Steve November 23, 2011 at 3:10 am

I love light parades. The Main Street Electrical Parade was always one of my favorites at Disneyland. 
Hope you guys have lots of fun there this weekend!

sally November 23, 2011 at 11:17 am

What a fun blog!  I love this fun tradition…it makes me excited for Christmas!  I just found your blog from the blog hop.  I'd love you to stop by my blog if you get a chance & follow along too!

Life at the Castle November 23, 2011 at 1:07 pm

Stopping by from the Be-Bop-A Blog Hop.  This sounds like a fun evening.  thanks for sharing!

Lisa November 23, 2011 at 2:09 pm

Looks like so much fun – I love nighttime parades!  Have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family!

walkingontravels November 23, 2011 at 6:14 pm

This looks like so much fun! We have a day after Thanksgiving Parade here in Seattle with a tree lighting at the end but no light parade. So jealous! We do have some gorgeous botanical gardens that do some crazy things with lights. I am hoping we can finally check them out this year. 

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