Shedding Some Light on Christmas

This is wonderful family time of year. It is impossible not to get caught up in the seasonal hype. But hey, that is not a bad thing. Thanksgiving to Christmas is fun, frantic and a great time to get out and enjoy many activities that have a holiday event theme.  We are barely two weeks into the long holiday event season and things are already in full swing. This week I was torn by which category of events to highlight. Then I thought why not forget highlights what about just “lights”. There are some wonderful lighted parades and fantasy light shows that would be a  great place to start. Christmas lights are one of my most favorite holiday things. I am so traumatized after the season when they all come down. 

Also I have always admired people who can hang Christmas lights and make them look like something. I tried, but my artistic talent is so limited that it is difficult for me to even frame my house in series of straight lines. (Seriously I am not kidding here. One of my best friends is an accomplished artist and art teacher yet she refuses to let me into her classes for fear of losing a beautiful friendship).  Now you know why I appreciate the talented people who make these displays. They have some extraordinary abilities that have certainly eluded me. Fortunately for us, these talents have not eluded the organizers and designers of this weeks’ shows. The floats and displays are beautiful and really capture the warmth and glow of the season. Wonderful themes and animations will bring smiles and joy even on the coldest of evenings and faces.

As always, I have listed some terrific events across the U.S. for purposes of finding out what big events are going on across the country. However, I invite you all to search for a light display or lighted Christmas parade near you this week. They will be super easy to find if you use the search box above as these have become so much of a holiday tradition they are taking place all over. So if you decide to go, pile everyone in the car because many of the light shows are drive through. This way you can wear your pajamas, take the family dog and keep nice and warm. Light up someone’s week this week!

Holiday Lights

Dec 01, 2012 – Dec 02, 2012

Gring’s Mill Recreation Area Wyomissing, PA US 19610

Since 1989, walk thru the park and see thousands of twinkling lights adorning the trees. Weekend entertainment in the barn by local groups and children’s craft workshops. Takes place on weekends.
23,000 Attendees

Grand Illumination in Colonial Williamsburg

Dec 02, 2012

Colonial Williamsburg Williamsburg, VA US 23185

Since 1935. A traditional 18th-century celebration lights up the night sky as the Grand Illumination, Colonial Williamsburg’s gift to the nation, begins the Historic Area’s holiday season. Revelers crowd the Historic Area to celebrate the yuletide tradition—begun in 1935 — with an afternoon and evening of holiday merriment and 18th- century style fireworks.
23,000 Attendees

Christmas Lighting Festival

Nov 30, 2012 – Dec 02, 2012

Downtown Leavenworth Leavenworth, WA US 98826

Since 1970, entertainment, food booths, sleigh rides, Mr. and Mrs Santa, Scrooge, lighting ceremony and more. Friday to Sunday only.
20,000 Attendees

Main Street Magic Lighted Christmas Parade

Nov 29, 2012 – Nov 30, 2012

Downtown Oskaloosa, IA US 52577

Since 1982, this unusual, evening lighted parade, voted #1 Holiday Event in the state by Main Street Iowa, entertains thousands as it winds through beautifully decorated Oskaloosa. Pre-parade events begin around the square and at the bandstand at 5:30 pm. Parade starts at 7 pm. Held rain or shine.
10,000 Attendees

Lights of December Parade

Dec 01, 2012

Downtown Boulder, CO US 80301

Since 1988, parade with floats and marching units. The Lights of December Parade is a wonderful hometown event. The parade will wind around downtown Boulder and involve a wide cross section of the Boulder County Community with high school marching bands, hundreds of girl scouts, church floats, non-profit and civic organizations, and business entries.
50,000 Attendees

Evening Christmas Parade

Dec 01, 2012

Downtown Fallbrook, CA US 92028

Christmas parade features regional band competition, equestrian floats and Marching units.
25,000 Attendees

Lights Fantastic Parade

Dec 01, 2012

Downtown Carbondale, IL US 62901

Since 1990, annual lighted parade including floats and marching bands from across the region. The parade presents a striking visual effect after dark. Refreshments, special lighted displays and storefronts and artwork displays.
20,000+ Attendees

Parade of Lights

Nov 30, 2012 – Dec 01, 2012

Civic Center Park Denver, CO US 80204

Since 1974, the Parade of Lights continues to reign as the signature event of the Downtown Denver holiday season. The countless sparkling lights, majestic floats and delightful characters will once again wow hundreds of thousands of onlookers when this popular family tradition takes to the streets. Seating along the parade route is free, and Grandstand tickets will also be available.
300,000 Attendees

Avalon Aglow

Dec 01, 2012

Avalon Park Founders Square Orlando, FL US 32828

Since 2002. Indulge in the best of family holiday tradition at the Avalon Aglow. watch a parade presided over by Santa Claus, sip hot apple cider as Mrs. Claus enchants your kids with her stories, ride sleds on a snow covered hill, laugh on amusement rides, enjoy live music, great food and Orlando’s premier winter fireworks extravaganza. You will feel transported to another time and place-but it all happens at Downtown Avalon Park. Join the fun and start a tradition with your own family.
25,000 Attendees 

Festival of Lights Parade

Dec 01, 2012

Downtown Palm Springs Palm Springs, CA US 92262

Since 1992, The parade was the vision of a small group of community minded individuals who believed it important to offer the community an event that would allow all people to enjoy and participate in the joyous and fun holiday season. Many of those individuals are still involved with the parade’s production. The parade gives everyone an opportunity to celebrate the winter holiday season. There is something for everyone in this parade.
80,000 Attendees

Leesburg Main Street Parade and Festival

Dec 01, 2012

Historical Downtown Leesburg, FL US 34748

Since 1967. Enjoy an evening of Holiday entertainment and fun for the whole family in historic downtown Leesburg with performances by local groups, dazzling Christmas light displays, festive food plus carnival rides and games for kids. Spend the afternoon browsing throughout the quaint shops and be sure to visit our Christmas House in downtown. The Lighted Holiday Parade steps off at 7:00pm as marching bands, twirlers, dance groups and illuminated floats travel down Main Street. Presented by the Leesburg Partnership and City of Leesburg.
20,000 Attendees

Fantasy of Lights Show

Nov 30, 2012 – Dec 01, 2012

Lions Club Park Sealy, TX US 77474

Since 1988. The Fantasy Park looks like fairyland lighted by beams of millions of tiny stars with one giant star hovering above it all. Many churches, civic groups and local businesses put up seasonal displays to enhance our enjoyment of the Holiday Spirit. Activities include: live music and entertainment, kids’ fantasy, bean bag tournament, live snowfall at 3pm Saturday, parade Saturday at 6pm, downtown scavenger hunt BBQ Cook-Off Vendors Bean Bag Tournament Visit Santa Claus in the Gazebo! ASA Fastpitch Softball Tournament: Fantasy of Lights Snowball Classic Downtown Scavenger Hunt
10,000 Attendees

Festival of Lights

Nov 29, 2012 – Dec 01, 2012

Moody Gardens Galveston, TX US 77554

Since 2002, Fun for all ages… Festive sights and sounds will fill Moody Gardens. This whimsical celebration will kick off the holiday season with Santa Claus parachuting in to switch on the lights. Transforming its lush tropical garden setting into a winter wonderland, Moody Gardens® will be adorned with more than a million twinkling lights and over one hundred light displays featuring a variety of scenes including nature, the North Pole, Toyland, underwater and much more. New this year is an exciting audio experience that will compliment the light displays, filling the night air as visitors travel down a path over a mile. In addition to the path of light displays, guest can strap on a pair of skates and glide across the ice at the Outdoor Ice Rink at Moody Gardens®. Indoors, visitors can take pictures with Santa or even gaze upon a giant poinsettia tree. The IMAX® 3D Theater will feature a variety of holiday-themed films during the Festival of Lights including Santa vs. the Snowman 3D, Nutcracker 3D and Polar Express 3D. At the Ridefilm theater, guests can buckle up their seatbelts and experience the thrills of one or both of two films, Santa’s Late and Glacier Run. Polar Express will also be showing in the 4D theater, where exciting special effects like real snow will tickle the audience from head to toe.
60,000 Attendees

Orlando Christmas Parade

Dec 02, 2012

Lake Eola Park Orlando, FL US 32801

The Orlando Christmas Parade and Holiday in the Park Festival is returning to Downtown Orlando’s Lake Eola Park on the first Sunday in December. The ¾ quarter mile night parade will be themed “Jingle all the Way” and will feature 65 parade entries to include illuminated mini trains, horse-drawn carriages, floats, twenty non-profit groups and of course Santa. Horse-drawn carriages decorated with jingle bells will showcase celebrities like Olympian Kellie L. Wells, 2012 Bronze Medalist in the Women’s 100-meter hurdles. Local performances will be featured on the Red Carpet on Rosalind Avenue next to the Gourmet Food Truck Row. Seven area high school marching bands will participate along with cartoon characters from “Costumers With a Cause” collecting toys for charity. Pets in holiday costumes will lead the parade in the Jingle Bell Dog Jog. A Pet costume contest will also take place in the park. Parade entries are now being accepted.
40,000 Attendees

Maria can be reached directly at or visit her website at
Copyright © 1998-2012 Events Media Network, Inc. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. Photos are copyright of their respective owners.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s