This Sunday is the 39th Annual GM Financial Parade of Lights happening in downtown Ft. Worth. For 2021 the theme is “Making Spirits Bright” and there will be over 100 floats! The parade kicks off at 6 PM on Sunday, November 21, 2021. If you’re planning to go, we have things you need to know.
Schedule of Activities:
Sundance Square Christmas Tree
Shopping and Dining Downtown, including brand new retailers and restaurants throughout the Central Business District.
Trinity Metro TEXRail service will be available from points north and east to the Fort Worth Central Station. Certain Trinity Metro bus routes will have extended hours on Sunday.
4:30 PM – Come early to get a great seat, enjoy some hot chocolate or delicious fare, visit the shops of Downtown or enjoy a leisurely meal in any of our Downtown restaurants.
6:00 PM – Parade begins featuring over 100 illuminated entries.
Entries featuring community groups and supporters from around Fort Worth.
The parade takes approximately ten minutes to move five blocks – plan accordingly as it will take approximately 40 minutes to traverse the entire route.
7:10 PM – Santa begins his trip around the parade route on a specially designed float.
Where To Watch The GM Financial Parade of Lights
There are two options: you can purchase reserved seats, and there are still some tickets available. 2021 pricing varies from $15.00 to $23.00 to $37.95, PLUS ticketing fees.
Nearly all sidewalks along the parade route will be open for free viewing. For more on reserved seating and the parade route, click here.
2021 GM Financial Parade Route
The parade will enter Downtown beginning at Throckmorton and Weatherford Streets, it moves south on Commerce Street to 9th Street, over to Houston Street, and north to 2nd Street. It proceeds west on 2nd to Throckmorton, then south to 3rd where the parade will end.
Street Closures, Traffic and More
Traffic becomes congested downtown as early as 3:00 PM. You might want to consider taking the Trinity Metro buses to the Fort Worth Central Station in Downtown to enjoy the shops and restaurants and avoid the traffic congestion. Please check their Sunday schedule – most routes will conclude at 8:15 that evening.
Several streets and highway ramps will be closed beginning at 6 a.m. on parade day (THIS Sunday, Nov. 21), including portions of Weatherford Street, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Streets, Taylor, Lamar, Burnett, Cherry, and Florence Streets.
Spur 280 from Interstate 35 will close at 4 p.m.
Belknap, Henderson, and North Main Streets will remain open to traffic during the parade.
Make plans to come early because there’s plenty to do downtown from dining, shopping, and seeing the Fort Worth Christmas Tree in Sundance Square Plaza!
Driving down? Some Downtown garages offer free parking, and there are many, low-cost parking lots available throughout Downtown. Pro tip: call a friend and make plans to carpool! More parking information available from www.fortworthparking.com
For public transportation, TEXRail is a great option! Park-and-ride opportunities are available at both the North Side Station (2829 Decatur Ave., Fort Worth, TX 76106) and the Fort Worth T&P Station (221 W. Lancaster Ave., Fort Worth, TX 76102). The North Side Station also features an overflow lot at 3001 Decatur Avenue. Frequency on Sunday will be increased to a train every 30 minutes help move riders in and out of Downtown more quickly.
Trinity Metro advises that bus service will not be an optimal option due to traffic congestion leading up to the start time of the Parade.
2021 GRAND MARSHAL
This year’s Grand Marshal is Ms. Opal Lee, the 95-year-old civil rights icon, activist, educator, author, and “grandmother of Juneteenth”.
Lee, joined by her family and Dr. Belay D Reddick, a criminal justice reform advocate, will sit atop the celebrated Grand Marshal float during the 2.2-mile parade route around Downtown Fort Worth. The Grand Marshal float design will incorporate the name of Lee and Reddick’s shared message – the “Change is Possible Tour” – and will be underwritten by longtime Parade supporters Karen and Larry Anfin.
In addition, Ms. Lee has authorized the distribution of 1,000 FREE copies of her children’s book, “Juneteenth: A Children’s Story,” which introduces the history of slavery and freedom to children in an easy-to-understand way, while also highlighting the celebration of Juneteenth and the importance of commemorating the milestone across America. Stop by the tent in General Worth Square (Main St. between 8th and 9th streets) beginning at noon to pick up a free copy!