One day after holding their annual tree lighting, Fort Worth will hold the 37th annual Parade of Lights in downtown.
There's a new twist this year beyond the 100 or so floats lit with Christmas lights, organizers said, adding that five new 360-degree sound system floats will feature performance stages for musical groups performing prior to and during the parade.
"The five live performance floats will be staged on Taylor Street and will kick off entertainment at approximately 4:30 p.m. The floats will move out into the parade route for the first five blocks (one float per block) and perform for 15 minutes. They will then move to the next set of blocks for another performance, with some overlapping. This will continue until they arrive at Houston and 2nd Streets, joining the regular parade route," organizers said in a statement.
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The five live performance floats will feature local performers: Grand Marshal, Grady Spencer & the Work, Jack Barksdale (12-year-old guitar/blues singer), DJ Soft Cherry, Squeezebox Bandits and Danni & Kris.
The annual "Parade of Lights" will begin at the intersection of Weatherford and Throckmorton streets, proceeding east along Weatherford, south on Commerce, then heads south to 9th Street. At 9th Street, the parade turns west, proceeding past the Convention Center to Houston Street, and then turns north on Houston to 2nd Street. The final turns for the parade are west on 2nd Street to Throckmorton Street, and south to 3rd Street, where the parade ends.
Following the parade, Santa Claus will meet with families near the city's tree, a 50-foot concolor fir, or white fir, from Hart, Michigan, adorned with 10,000 LED Christmas lights.
"There's no waiting in long lines to see Santa with Sundance Square's virtual system. Upon arriving in Sundance Square Plaza, simply check in at Santa's Sleigh, provide a mobile telephone number and then shop, eat, and have fun until a text is received confirming it is time to see Santa," organizers said in a news release.
Visits with Santa aren't free, though. Each visit and and photo costs $20 with all proceeds going to the Fort Worth Sister Cities' Youth Program.
Reserved seats for the parade are available for purchase. For more detailed information, please visit FortWorthParadeofLights.org.
Downtown is generally packed and free parking is typically gobbled up during the annual parade -- so arrive early or take the TRE into downtown.
The TRE will operate on a special schedule on Sunday, Nov. 24. Three TRE trains will travel to Fort Worth, with the first one leaving EBJ Union Station at 1:30 p.m. and the last one leaving at 9:20 p.m. The three trains will depart from Fort Worth Central Station beginning at 2:54 p.m., with the last one departing at 10:44 p.m. The full schedule is available online at trinityrailwayexpress.org.