Festival of Lights Parade returns to downtown Crystal Lake Nov. 26

  • Santa and Mrs. Claus will bring out the holiday cheer at the Festival of Lights Parade on Friday, Nov. 26, in downtown Crystal Lake.

    Santa and Mrs. Claus will bring out the holiday cheer at the Festival of Lights Parade on Friday, Nov. 26, in downtown Crystal Lake. Courtesy of Downtown Crystal Lake

Posted11/21/2021 1:30 PM

The Festival of Lights Parade is the traditional start to the season when Santa Claus comes to town!

The evening will be filled with lights, music, pageantry, and a little magic starting at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 26.


The parade ends at the corner of Williams Street and Crystal Lake Avenue, when Santa throws his magic dust to light the majestic Community Christmas Tree. By lighting the Christmas tree, Santa lights the spirit of the season in everyone's heart!

Spectators must be up on the curbs -- plan your viewing options accordingly.

They have made other adjustments for safety this year.

The Festival of Lights Parade will not feature candy distribution as organizers recognize the risks of dark streets and young children taking chances to retrieve candy that does not make it to the sidewalks. Safety is utmost in our minds. In the past, we have had children run too close to the moving floats.

The lights, music and magic provide plenty of excitement for families.

Many of the stores will be open if treats are desired during the parade.

Note: In order to create a wider and safer passage for the parade vehicles, there will be no parking for the entire parade route, including: Caroline Street, Crystal Lake Avenue, Grant Street, Woodstock Street and Williams Street. Vehicles should be off these streets after 5 p.m., and can be parked in public/commuter parking lots.

For a map of the parade route, visit downtowncl.org.

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The 2021 Parade winners will be announced after the parade for Best Use of Lights; Best Use of Music; Most Creative; Most Enthusiastic; Judge's Choice; and Best of 2021 Theme "A Toyland Christmas."

The goal of the Festival of Lights Parade is to create a safe, fun magical event to kick off the season in Crystal Lake.

Thanks to property owner, Barry Fues, for his generosity in providing our Community Christmas Tree.

Visit downtowncl.org.

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