Light dawns in the darkness Saturday in downtown Tempe when hundreds of thousands of Christmas lights frost the brick-lined streets for the 19th annual Fantasy of Lights Parade, led by Grand Marshalls Chris Parker and Monica Nelson of 98.7 The Peak.
Kicking off at 3rd Street and Mill Avenue at 6 p.m., the festive menagerie of balloons, decorated cars and trucks, floats, and novelty units wind down Mill Avenue, turn west on 7th Street, north on Maple, and west on 5th Street, ending at Ash Avenue. Afterward, the Grand Marshalls and Jolly ol’ Saint Nick himself return to Centerpoint Plaza, where a 50-foot Christmas tree will be lit at 7 p.m. by the Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell, special guests and events sponsors, including SRP, Wells Fargo and the East Valley Tribune.
To conclude the evening, Santa will take his seat and hear the wishes of local girls and boys, who can have their picture taken with him for free. Snack and drink vendors will be on site. Select merchants will also be open for business.
DETAILS >> 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 24. Mill Avenue District, 3rd Street and Mill Ave., Tempe. Free. (480) 355-6060 or www.millavenue.com.
Photo: The 1915 fire truck with the APS Clown unit