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9NEWS Parade of Lights to return for the holidays

A brand new 2-mile fun run and costume contest, open to the public, is set to kick off the festivities on Dec. 3.

DENVER — It's about that time of year! 

The 9NEWS Parade of Lights, Colorado's biggest holiday parade, is making its return Dec. 3 at 6 p.m. 

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Produced by the Downtown Denver Partnership and presented by American Furniture Warehouse, the Colorado holiday tradition dates all the way back to 1975 and has grown into the largest and most-watched parade in the Rocky Mountain region, bringing about 300,000 people to downtown Denver annually.

“The 9NEWS Parade of Lights is a beloved tradition in our city,” Kourtny Garrett, President & CEO of the Downtown Denver Partnership, said. “It’s a chance to come together in downtown Denver, bundled up in coats, and celebrate the holidays with thousands of people!”   

The free event is set to feature more than 40 units, including floats, giant helium-filled character balloons, marching bands, equestrian units, vibrant cultural displays, and special appearances by Major Waddles the Penguin and Santa.

Brand new this year is a two-mile "Jingle Jog Fun Run," which will go through the exact parade route in downtown Denver. Proceeds from the event will benefit Downtown Denver Events, Inc., a 501c3 nonprofit focused on the activation of the Downtown Denver Public Realm. 

Tickets for the Jingle Jog Fun Run can be purchased at jinglejogdenver.eventbrite.com. More information about the run can be found on the parade website.

A costume contest will kick off the festivities at 4:15 p.m. The winner with the best festive gear will get the opportunity to ride on a parade float at 6 p.m. 

“The 9NEWS Parade of Lights is personally one of my favorite events of the year, and with some brand-new activations, including the fun run, this year will be one of the best,” Sharon Alton, Senior Vice President of Downtown Experience at the Partnership, said. “To watch downtown light up with excitement and holiday cheer is an experience that can’t be missed.”

Date and time

The 48th annual 9NEWS Parade of Lights will be held Saturday, Dec. 3 at 6 p.m. The costume contest is scheduled at 4:15 p.m. and the "Jingle Jog Fun Run" will commence at 4:30 p.m. 

Where to watch

The Parade of Lights will begin at 14th and Bannock Streets. Spectators can get the best seats by purchasing grandstand seating directly in front of the City and County Building. A limited number of grandstand tickets can be found on the Parade of Lights website.

Spectators can view the parade for free along the two-mile route on Tremont Street between 14th and 17th streets, on 17th Street from Tremont to Arapahoe Street, on Arapahoe between 17th and 15th streets, and on 15th Street from Arapahoe to Glenarm. Visit the Parade of Lights site for a map of the parade route. 

9NEWS will be broadcasting the parade live on 9NEWS, 9NEWS.com, the 9NEWS app and the 9NEWS YouTube channel.

9NEWS will also rebroadcast the parade throughout the month of December.

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How to get there

Those planning to go to the parade are encouraged to carpool or use public transportation. RTD's light rail provides service before and after the parade, with parking available at RTD Park-n-Ride locations across the Denver metro area. For more information and to plan your trip, call RTD at 303-299-6000 or visit RTD-Denver.com.   


Volunteers are needed to help out with the parade.

Every year, more than 500 volunteers make the parade happen. Volunteer positions include costume characters, helium balloon handlers, parade production assistance and more. If you've ever wanted to be an elf, fish, toy soldier or gift box, or to hold a huge balloon, apply for a volunteer position online.

Anyone with questions about volunteering can call 303-534-6161 or email volunteers@denverparadeoflights.com.  

9NEWS is the presenting sponsor of the 2022 9NEWS Parade of Lights. Coverage of the parade can be found on the 9NEWS+ streaming app — for Fire TV, Roku and Apple TV — as well as on 9NEWS.com and the 9NEWS mobile app

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