GLENDALE, AZ — The Hometown Christmas Parade in Glendale has been canceled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"It was an incredibly difficult decision, but a necessary one," said Mayor Jerry Weiers in a recent statement. "I want to thank everyone for their ongoing efforts to keep our community healthy. I know COVID-19 has made many changes in our lives and I want to thank you for your continued patience."
Even though the event is not happening this year, the charitable contribution is. The city is still collecting non-perishable donations to benefit the Hope for Hunger Food Bank in Glendale, part of the Phoenix Rescue Mission.
Donations can be dropped off at Glendale City Hall during November and December, as well as at Sam's Club and Walmart near 83rd Avenue and Union Hills Drive on Nov. 14.
Good news though: Glendale Glitters, another popular lights display in downtown Glendale, begins Nov. 16, 2020. People can see more than a million lights strung across 16 blocks. And it is free.
Due to the pandemic, there will be no opening weekend festivities, live performances, or marketplace.
Both the Fantasy of Lights parade in downtown Tempe and the APS Light Parade in Phoenix also canceled their in-person parades for 2020, citing the pandemic. Instead, both will offer virtual presentations.
Zoomtown Lights, a drive-thru light show at Phoenix Raceway, will not be open this year, a spokesperson said.
While Bearizona in northern Arizona will be open during the holidays, its "Wild Wonderland" drive-thru lights display will not be up this year, a spokesperson said.
But, not all is lost. Some other holiday events will go on this year.
Phoenix Zoo Lights will have its traditional walk-thru option this year, as well as a drive-thru option, similar to its "Cruise the Zoo" experience that opened over the summer. Zoo Lights will open to the public on Nov. 7, nearly three weeks earlier than usual.
Visit PhoenixZoo.org to view the schedule for the walk-thru and drive-thru days and ticket information.
World of Illumination, the drive-thru lights display synced to music, is back with two displays at Tempe's Diablo Stadium and Westgate Entertainment District in Glendale. Visit www.worldofillumination.com for more information.
New this year is Holiday Lights at Salt River Fields, a drive-thru lights display around Salt River Fields in Scottsdale. Visit www.holidaylightssrf.com for more information.