Remember those old cartoons that always had two titles? The goofy one that made you scratch your head, and then the one that really explained what the episode was about? Well, everyone will know what I am talking about when I say: Glendale Glitters. Over the past 20 years, the name has become synonymous with family holiday fun. Every year, people from all over the state head to Glendale for its stunning 1.5 million light display that spans 16 blocks of the historic downtown. In fact, it’s the largest free holiday light display in Arizona. And there’s a reason why it’s so popular.
Is it the lights? Well, of course it’s the lights. People who have never come to the event before are amazed at the visual spectacle they will find here. Coupled with the brick buildings and sidewalks in the Old Towne area and the charming bungalows in Catlin Court, it’s a sight to be seen. But the festival goes far beyond the lights. Glendale has always maintained that its events remain free; free admission and free parking shuttles are also one reason that the event is special. Families flock to the event because it is budget-friendly and family-friendly. And reasonable entertainment options abound – from pony rides and a petting zoo, to inflatables and face painting, a priority is that prices are reasonable, including food and beverages.
What else makes Glendale Glitters so popular? Is it the awards? Yes, Glendale Glitters has won several awards over the years, but that’s just a reflection of the success of the events team and the city’s dedication to providing family-oriented community events. The key word is community. Glendale has always had a small-town atmosphere about it, even though it is now a large community with more than 200,000 residents, the ‘lean over the fence post and chat with your neighbor’ friendliness remains. And Glendale Glitters encompasses that. Event planners feature local performers – from school choirs, dance academies and home-grown bands, to honoring special Glendale and Valley residents who have accomplished something to write home about. That’s why this year’s 20th anniversary celebration is very special.
Shane Doan, Coyotes Team Captain, hometown hero and NHL All Star, will join the Mayor and Council on stage to flip the switch for the 1.5 million lights on Nov. 29 at 5:30 p.m. Part of that special program will be a video highlighting the many special individuals and groups that have been a part of Glendale Glitters over the years. Add all that to the mix of music, dancing, food and beverages, a snow field for the kids and much more.
For all the details on times, and parking, and who’s singing and dancing and all that, head over to www.glendaleaz.com/events. And mark your calendar today. You won’t want to miss this one!