Phoenix Electric Light Parade: Winter Nights, Dazzling Lights 2017

A Holiday Tradition in the Valley of the Sun

Electric Light Parade in Phoenix
Steven Gerner/Flickr/Creative Commons

The APS Electric Light Parade, one of the most important and beloved holiday traditions in Phoenix, returns to the streets of central Phoenix on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017.  The 2017 parade theme is Winter Nights, Dazzling Lights. The Electric Light Parade features holiday lights on everything from elaborate floats to marching bands and is expected to attract thousands of viewers along the route. In addition to the floats, performance groups and bands also will take part. It's a celebration that is especially fun for the children in your family.

Electric Light Parade Route

The parade begins at 7 p.m. and travels along Central Avenue from Montebello Avenue to Camelback Road, east on Camelback to Seventh Street, and Seventh Street south to Indian School Road. It lasts for about 45 minutes, but the time can vary.

What You Need to Know

The parade goes on in rain or shine. Bring blankets and chairs so you'll be comfortable along the route. You can bring a cooler for drinks but leave the alcohol and glass containers at home. Parade-watchers often start arriving hours before parade time to reserve spots, so get there early if you want a prime view. You can park on the street if you are lucky enough to find a spot or on a private lot near the parade route. If you want to ditch your car, you can reach the parade route via Valley Metro Rail at the Central and Camelback station.

Check with the Arizona Department of Transportation for detailed travel or road restrictions for this event. Call 5-1-1, then *7. The call is free.

Parade Float Judging

If you are really into the floats, go to the parade float judging on Friday, Dec. 1,  from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at the event staging area at North Phoenix Baptist Church. There you will see the floats lit up and glittering for official review. You can get much closer to the floats here than during the parade and can see the details. And as a bonus, kids can play holiday games, get their faces painted, and participate in arts and crafts in Santa's Village. They can also get a photo with Santa. Everyone can get into Santa's Village for free.