Pasadena to host holiday parade of lights
On Saturday, a section of one of Pasadena’s busiest roads will be filled with a different kind of traffic: lighted parade entries from more than a dozen community groups, businesses and organizations. Together with the Strawberry Festival, the City of Pasadena will host its annual Holiday Lighted Parade on Dec. 10 beginning at 7 p.m. on Fairmont Pkwy, from Preston to Beltway 8.
It will be the fourth year for the parade, but the first time for it to be held on Fairmont. And because there is more open space in this year’s parade location, some of the size restrictions for entries have been lifted.
Although this is a year of some big changes for the parade, Steve Andreno, who serves on the committee planning the parade, emphasized that the most important aspect of it will stay the same. He said the event was created to be – and will continue to be – an event for the entire community, open to everyone and completely free to participate in.
“The whole idea behind this parade was to give people in our community a way to come together and celebrate the holidays,” Andreno said. “We want the entire city to come out, be a part of it and show their holiday spirit.”
There is no entry fee for the parade, and all entries will be announced as the travel along the route. The parade will also be re-broadcast several times in the following weeks on the Pasadena Channel.
To be a part of the parade, the basic rules are simple: entries must move and have lights. They should not be political in nature. Also, for safety reasons, candy is not allowed to be thrown, though it can be passed out by walkers in the parade.
Awards will be given in four categories: best overall, best lighted entry, most holiday spirit and most unusual. All that is required to participate is a completed parade application, which can be downloaded at www.ci.pasadena.tx.us, so that parade organizers can plan the line up and get scripted announcements from each entrant. Entries can be received by the Strawberry Festival as late as December 9.
The idea for the parade grew out of a discussion with Mayor Johnny Isbell, who expressed an interest in creating a new event to bring the community together to celebrate the holidays. After discussing different possibilities, representatives from the Strawberry Festival and the City agreed that a parade of lights would perfectly complement the City’s traditional holiday events, and in 2007, the first parade was planned and held at the Pasadena Convention Center, where it continued to grow steadily each year.
“The parade, like all of our Christmas events, was created with our residents in mind as a way for us all to get together and celebrate the wonderful community that we are a part of,” Mayor Johnny Isbell said. “And this year, by moving the parade to Fairmont, we’re hoping to expand on that even more. Not only will the parade now have a more festive backdrop with the Christmas lighting we installed in the medians along Fairmont last year, but the new location should also make this event even more accessible for families.”
For more information about the Holiday Lighted Parade or to get an application for the event, call (281) 991-9500 or visit www.strawberryfest.org or www.ci.pasadena.tx.us.