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Start planning now for Friday's Parade of Lights

The Chesapeake Energy Parade of Lights will begin after the sun sets Friday in downtown Fort Worth, but there will be loads of entertainment, food and fun all day long. Here's what you need to know:

THINGS TO DO

  • 2 p.m. The Holiday Fun Zone, presented by XTO Energy, opens between Main and Third and Fourth Streets. The event feature’s children’s holiday-themed entertainment, crafts and food.
  • 5:45 Cowboy Santas walk the parade route, warming up the crowd and collecting toys for low-income families in Tarrant County. Bring an unwrapped toy if you wish to donate.
  • 6 p.m. The parade of lights, presented by Chase, begins. Themed “The Sights and Sounds of the Season,” the parade features over 100 illuminated entries, including floats, marching bands and other performers. It starts at Belknap Street at Throckmorton and winds its way through downtown.
  • 7:30 p.m. The city’s tree is lit by Santa Claus and his elves, who stay for photos and to hear children’s wishes. Photos cost $5 and benefit the Fort Worth Sister Cities Program.
  • 8 p.m. Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas, starring Jim Carrey, is shown on the big screen.
  • For more information, go to www.fortworthparadeoflights.org.

    PARKING

    Free parking is available in five garages:

    • 1. Sundance Square Garage I _ enter on Commerce Street betwween First and Second streets.
    • 2. Sundance Square Garage II _ enter on Calhoun Street between Third and Fourth streets.
    • 3. Sundance Square Garage III _ enter on Third and Fourth streets between Throckmorton and Taylor streets.
    • 4. Tarrant County Law garage _ enter on Calhoun between Weatherford and First streets.
    • 5. City Place garage _ enter on Throckmorton on W. Belknap and W. Weatherford streets.
    • There are other pay-when-you-park lots available throughout downtown.

      TRAVEL TIPS

      • The T is free: After 4 p.m. today, all bus service is free and buses run until 11 p.m.
      • Ride the TRE: Catch the Trinity Railway Express to downtown Fort Worth from stations in Richland Hills, Hurst and east Fort Worth (CentrePort). Regular fares apply. To see a special schedule, go to www.trinityrailwayexpress.org/newsatmodifiedthanks.html
      • TO GET DOWNTOWN

        • Westbound traffic _ use 7th Street, or Cherry Street
        • Southbound _ use Henderson Street or South Main Street
        • Northbound _ use Henderson Street
        • Eastbound _ use Belknap Street or Lancaster Avenue
        • Don't get stuck: Avoid using Spur 280 and Route 287 into downtown after 4:30 p.m., unless you like being stuck in traffic.
        • STREET CLOSINGS

          • 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.: Forest Park Boulevard, from 10th Street to Purcey Street
          • 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.: W. First Street, from Burnett Street. to Henderson Street
          • Burnett Street, from W. Second Street to Weatherford Street
          • Cherry Street, from W. First Street to Weatherford Street
          • Florence Street, from W. Second Street to Weatherford Street. Local access will be maintained for residents.
          • 5:30 to 9 p.m.: Third Street, from Houston Street to Commerce Street
          • 4 to 7:45 p.m.: Houston Street, from Weatherford Street to Sixth Street
          • Commerce Street, from Weatherford Street to Sixth Street
          • 5:30 to 7:45 p.m: Sixth Street, from Commerce Street to Houston Street
          • Belknap Street, from Forest Park Boulevard to Commerce Street
          • Weatherford Street, from Commerce Street, to Forest Park Boulvard
          • Note: Cross streets in downtown -- except for Third and Sixth -- will remain open until 5:30 p.m.

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