Fairfield hosts Parade of Lights for fifth year, and there’s still time to get involved

Community members are gearing up for the holidays in Fairfield with the 5th Annual Parade of Lights and a tree lighting with fireworks at Village Green Park with an appearance by Santa.

“We are excited about this year’s parade. We have over 30 floats this year from organizations and businesses that have entered the parade, which is the most we’ve had in the five years we’ve been doing this. The parade is going to be bigger, brighter, and the community is going to enjoy all of the lights and festivities,” said David Sheldrick, marketing specialist for Fairfield Parks & Recreation.

The City of Fairfield will host the parade Nov. 18. Festivities will run from 5-7 p.m. at Village Green Park. The parade will begin at 6 p.m.

“This has become an event that the community looks forward to. It grows every year, and the community loves it. They set up their chairs along the parade route and watch it go by, and then, they come to Village Green Park. There’s going to be live music, activities, and this year, there’s a Penguin Meet & Greet,” Sheldrick said.

The parade will have a slightly different route this year and will step-off from Waterworks Park at 6 p.m. The parade will travel through Fairfield and end at Village Green Park. The parade will kick off from Waterworks Park, head South on Groh Lane towards River Road, turn left (East) onto River Road/Nilles Road, turn right (South) on Wessel and the parade will end at Village Green Park.

At the conclusion of the parade, there will be a tree-lighting and fireworks at Village Green Park with Fairfield Mayor Mitch Rhodus. Santa will make an appearance and many of the floats will be stationed around Village Green Park on Fairfield Commons Drive following the parade, so guests can get an up-close look at the lights and creativity on display.

Highlights will include a performance by the Fairfield Starz Dancers outdoors on the Wessel Drive stage from 5:30 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. Plus, there will be a scavenger hunt and selfie areas from 5-7 p.m. throughout Village Green Park. Food trucks and a beer garden will be available on Wessel Drive.

New this year, there will be a Penguin Meet & Greet in the Fairfield Community Arts Center Dance Studio from 5-5:45 p.m. (If the penguins are molting or showing signs of laying eggs, Newport Aquarium will bring a substitute animal.) At 6 p.m., there will be a Children’s Craft provided by Fairfield Parks & Recreation in the FCAC Children’s Room.

Nearly 30 organizations, businesses, community groups and city departments have already signed up for the parade including City of Fairfield Police, City of Fairfield Fire Department, Fairfield Parks and Recreation, Fairfield City Schools, Fairfield Chamber of Commerce and Fairfield Family YMCA, among others.

“The whole community is coming together to celebrate the kick-off of the season,” Sheldrick said. “It’s all about the community, and giving them something to celebrate, right here in Fairfield.”

Each year, winning floats are chosen in two categories, including a “Community Entry” and a “City Department” entry. Judges for the Parade of Lights floats are Fairfield City Council members. In 2022, BHI General Contracting was awarded first place as the “Community Entry” and the City of Fairfield – Parks won first place for the “City Department” entry.

Additionally, there will be a gallery opening for the annual Festival of Trees, which will take place during the event, from 5-7 p.m., inside the FCAC. Guests can stop by the Art Gallery and vote for their favorite trees. New this year, there will be a Kids’ Festival of Trees, where children can decorate coloring sheets that will be displayed at FCAC. There will also be a Giving Tree with a Giving Tree Tag Handout by the Salvation Army in the FCAC lobby.

Attendees can get a head start on their holiday shopping from 5-7 p.m. by visiting the Holiday Shop with vendors inside the Fairfield Community Arts Center lobby. There will be about a dozen vendors offering unique, handcrafted items.

How to participate

For those who would like to be a part of the festivities, there is still time to enter a float. The city will be accepting parade participants through Friday, Nov. 10. For more information, or to register a float, go to https://form.jotform.com/231905795977172.

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