Desert Hot Springs News

Parade of Lights & Holiday Festival: What You Need to Know

Posted by City of Desert Hot Springs on Dec 5, 2019 1:35:27 PM

It's the most wonderful time of the year! The City of Desert Hot Springs Parade of Lights & Holiday Festival is right around the corner, on December 14 from 5:45 pm to 10 pm. All community members and visitors are welcome to this family-friendly event. To ensure you have the best time possible, please review these tips and guidelines.


Frequently Asked Questions


  1. When is the 2019 City of Desert Hot Springs Parade of Lights? What time does it start?

This year, the parade is on Saturday, December 14, 2019. The parade will begin promptly at 5:45 p.m.


  1. Where does the parade take place? Where does it start, where does it end?

The parade takes place on Palm Drive. It begins at Mission Lakes Boulevard and Palm Drive and heads south on Palm Drive and ends at 2nd Street.


  1. How long is the parade route?

The parade route is approximately 1.1 miles. It takes approximately 30-45 minutes for each entry to complete the route.


  1. Where is the staging area for the parade?

The staging area will take place along Mission Lakes Boulevard between Palm Drive and Santa Cruz Rd.


  1. What time will the roads close for the parade?

The staging area and route for the parade (Palm Drive from Mission Lakes Boulevard to 2nd Street) will close starting at 3 p.m. and will remain closed until approx. 8:00 p.m.


  1. Where is the best place to park?

The best place to park is the area streets surrounding the parade route. As we may have many spectators at the parade, it is best to come early to get available parking and to secure viewing space along the parade route.



  1. How long will the parade last?

The parade will last between 60 minutes to 90 minutes from start to finish.


  1. What time will the streets re-open?

Palm Drive will re-open to vehicular traffic following the parade, once all units have safely cleared the area and pedestrians have dispersed. We anticipate opening Palm Drive by approx. 8:00 p.m.


  1. What happens in the case of inclement weather?

The Parade will take place rain or shine. We are looking forward to a great night!


  1. Where is the best place to watch the parade?

The best place to watch the parade is along Palm Drive from Mission Lakes Boulevard to 2nd Street.


  1. Are any chairs provided for along the parade route?

Chairs are not provided anywhere along the parade route. Please feel free to bring lawn chairs from home to sit on or sit along the curb on Palm Drive.



  1. How should we dress for the parade?

The weather is expected to be quite nice, but we suggest that you dress warmly. You may want to bring along a blanket or mat to sit on.


  1. Should I bring anything? May I bring a cooler?

Please feel free to bring blankets and/or lawn chairs to sit on. You may bring your own food and beverage, but please note: Alcohol is NOT Permitted.


  1. What time should we plan on getting there?

We recommend you arrive an hour prior to the parade starting to get a suitable location to view the parade.


  1. Do I need a ticket?

You do not need a ticket to see the parade. It is free and open to the public.


  1. What’s in the parade? What can I expect to see? How many entries are in the parade?

There are almost 40 entries in the parade. Parade entries include marching bands, drum squads, drill teams, schools, local businesses and sports teams.


  1. Are the floats and parade entries judged?

Yes, the parade floats and parade entries are judged in many categories including: Best Overall, Mayor’s Award, Most Original/Creative, Best Decoration, and Best Presentation.


  1. Who are the people in the yellow vests?

The people in the yellow vests are City Staff and trained staff to keep the route safe and the parade moving always.


  1. Is the parade suitable for children?

Absolutely! The parade is family friendly.


  1. Who puts on the parade?

The parade is the put on by The City of Desert Hot Springs.


  1. What is the parade for?

The parade is an opportunity for our community to come together and celebrate the spirit and joy of the holiday season.


For more information, visit our holiday page. See you there!