Fort Worth

Patrons encouraged to come early for Fort Worth’s Parade of Lights

The spirit of Christmas will be in full swing during Sunday’s XTO Energy Parade of Lights in downtown Fort Worth.
The spirit of Christmas will be in full swing during Sunday’s XTO Energy Parade of Lights in downtown Fort Worth. Star-Telegram archives

The 33rd annual XTO Energy Parade of Lights, billed as the largest illuminated holiday parade in Texas, returns to downtown Fort Worth on Sunday night.

The parade, which for years has come before Thanksgiving, is kicking off the downtown holiday season even earlier.

Five things to know:

1. It isn’t just a parade

Entertainment starts at 4:30 p.m. as Houston and Commerce streets close. At 5:30 p.m., Cowboy Santas will begin accepting toy donations for children in need. The parade begins at 6 p.m. with Santa starting his ride down the parade route at 7:10.

2. It’s going to be cold

Make sure to bundle up because Fort Worth’s first freeze is expected Sunday morning and the weather will be cold when the sun goes down.

3. Reserved seating available

If you don’t want to scramble for a viewing spot, reserved “Street Seats” are available online at www.FortWorthParadeOfLights.org. Prices start at $9.50.

4. Catch a ride downtown

At 2 p.m. Sunday, the T will begin offering expanded bus service from Farrington Field for $3.50 round trip. You must have exact change, but parking is free. The last bus leaves downtown for Farrington Field at 10 p.m. For parking options, go to www.FortWorthParking.com and search for “Parade of Lights.” The free parking garages downtown fill quickly.

5. Don’t forget the tree

As the parade ends, the 59-foot blue spruce Christmas tree in Sundance Square Plaza will be lit at 7:45 p.m. After the lighting, Santa will be available for photos.

Bill Hanna: 817-390-7698, @fwhanna

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