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Chandler's Unique Holiday Tradition:
The Tumbleweed Tree

Join us in celebrating a unique southwestern tradition that draws visitors from far and wide during the holidays. This community festival also includes the beautiful Parade of Lights. This year marks the 58th Tumbleweed Tree built in Downtown Chandler.

Tumbleweed Tree Lighting Ceremony
and Parade of Lights
Dr. A.J. Chandler Park & Downtown Chandler
Saturday, December 6, 2014
4:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
7:00 p.m. Parade, 8:00 p.m. Tree Lighting Ceremony

  Tumbleweed Tree Animation


Stage Schedule
4:30 pm - 4:50 pm  Stacy J Dancing 
5:00 pm - 5:20 pm  The Dance Loft
5:30 pm - 5:50 pm  Talent Team Performing Arts 
6:00 pm - 6:20 pm  Ugly Sweater Contest 
7:00 pm                     Parade
8:00 p.m. (approx.) Tree Lighting Ceremony with Mayor Jay Tibshraeny
8:40 pm - 9:00 pm  Studio 3 Performing Arts Academy 

East Ramada Schedule
Entire Event             Hot 97.5FM Mobile Street Team


Ugly Sweater Contest 
Main Stage by Tumbleweed Tree 
Contest Time: 6:00 - 6:20 P.M. 
General Information
Registration: Begins at 4:30 p.m. at the Information Booth, located across from the Tumbleweed Tree under the small ramadas. 

Details:  Contestants must be 18 and older to participate in the following categories: 

  • Best Ugly Sweater Couple 
  • Best Ugly Sweater Family 
  • Best Homemade Ugly Sweater 
Best Ugly Best Ugly Sweater Couple will have a maximum of 20 couples, Best Ugly Sweater Family will have a maximum of 15 families and Best Homemade Ugly Sweater category will have a maximum of 20 participants. The Best Ugly Sweater Family must have at least one parent & one child to compete within this category. They will be judged by three judges with them selecting one winner from each age group. They will judge on: theme appropriateness, creativity and overall presentation. 

Rules: To be eligible as an Ugly Sweater Contestant you must wear a Christmas or Winter themed Sweater, Sweatshirt, or Sweater Vest to the event. Turtlenecks and long or short-sleeved t-shirts will not be accepted. You may wear such items underneath an Ugly Sweater-vest, but it will not be considered part of your sweater and therefore not eligible for judging. You may add to or alter your Ugly Sweater however you like. Have fun and get creative. Additional items such as hats, jewelry or other festive attire will not be considered when voting for the Ugly Sweater categories. An item must be attached to your Ugly Sweater in order to be eligible. 

Prizes will be awarded for 1st place for each age category.


The Dance Loft
The Dance Loft is dedicated to providing dance instruction in a positive learning environment that will encourage creativity and self -esteem. The studio and staff are devoted to inspire, encourage, and support every student as they learn about dance. Their vision at The Dance Loft is for every dancer to appreciate and be as passionate, as they are, about DANCE! The Dance Loft offers dance instruction for ages 2 thru 17 in the styles of Jazz, Ballet, Tumbling, Tap, Lyrical, Contemporary, and Hip Hop.

Talent Team Performing Arts
For over 17 years Talent Team Performing Arts has been teaching unique triple threat programs providing a family friendly, skill-based education for youth! We have produced over 20 original musical theatre productions to date and continue to create a new production each season! We also offer optional performing arts tours for our students. We have performed in Australia, New Zealand, England, Ireland, Scotland, China, Japan, Hawaii, and throughout many of the continental United States.

Studio 3 Performing Arts Academy
The Showstoppers from Studio 3 Performing Arts Academy, Gilbert’s
pre-professional triple threat training center for ages 2 through adults. Located on Guadalupe, between Gilbert and Cooper, Studio 3 specializes in musical theatre and audition coaching. They offer classes in dance, theatre, voice, and music, and produce 6 full length plays and musicals each year. For upcoming audition information, or to see the class schedule, visit their website at



Vacation Village Resorts and Affiliates

A 2 Z Trophy



The City of Chandler is continually seeking interested individuals, organizations and companies who want to sponsor our great tree lighting festival and parade with either in-kind services or monetary donations. The benefits of being a sponsor range from on-stage logo recognition and announcements during the festival to name and/or logo recognition on flyers, posters, postcards, websites, press releases, festival program, and much more. Benefits vary based on sponsorship levels. For more information on becoming a sponsor, please call 480-782-2665, email the Special Event Coordinator, or review our sponsorship package.



Guests attending the event are strongly encouraged to arrive early to find parking. There are several locations to park at throughout the Downtown area. Please visit the parking map and suggested routes to access each parking site. **Please be aware that Arizona Ave. will be closed from Chandler Blvd. to Frye Rd. from approximately 3:30 pm to 10 pm.
-- Parking Map (pdf)

Disabled Parking Services
Guests arriving for the event in need of disabled parking will be able to use the lot provided for them. Parking is located on the corner of Boston St. and San Marcos Place. Please Note: there is limited disabled parking. It is a first-come availability.

Road Closures
Road closures will take place for this event. Please make sure to plan accordingly and how to move around the area.

Streets to be Closed - Beginning at 6:00 a.m.
· No street parking along Arizona Avenue from Chandler Boulevard to Frye Road
· San Marcos Place at Buffalo Street
· San Marcos Place on the south side of Commonwealth Avenue
· Commonwealth Avenue on the east side of The Alley (west of San Marcos Place)
· Arizona Place at Buffalo Street
· Arizona Place at Boston Street

Streets to be Closed - Beginning at 3:30 p.m
· Arizona Avenue from Chandler Boulevard to Frye Road
· Buffalo Street at Washington Street (west side)
· Boston Street just prior to the eastern entrance to the First Credit Union Parking Structure (east of Washington Street)
· Washington Street and Frye Road (north side)
· Chicago Street and Wall Street (east side)
· Chicago Street and Delaware Street (west side)
· Boston Street and Arizona Avenue (west side)
· Buffalo Street and Oregon Street (east side, with hotel entrance open)

Streets to be Closed - Beginning at 6:30 p.m.
· Delaware Street at Frye Road (west side)
· Washington St. at Elgin north side
· Colorado Street at Elgin Street
· Frye Road at Arizona Avenue (west side, with a single right turn lane only)
· Arizona Avenue at Frye Road (south side)
· Arizona Avenue northbound traffic detour at Elgin Street for east or west bound traffic to Frye Road         

  Chandler Special Events Hotline

Are you interested in volunteering? We have a great opportunity for anyone who needs community service hours or just want to help out a great event. Volunteer opportunities range from setting up, parade banner holder, activity booths or helping guests with event information.

Sign up today by clicking on this ICON and filling out the form in minutes!
Sign Up Now!




For ALL questions, concerns or comments regarding a vendor booth space for the Fall Rhythm Fest, contact John Stewart at 480-236-9123. 

** The Chandler Lions Club oversees the criteria and acceptance of vendors for this event.**


 Submitting Application: The vendor application deadline is Friday, November 7, 2014 or when all space has been reserved. If you have submitted an application prior to the deadline, please call John Stewart, Chandler Lions Club, at 480-236-9123 with any questions.

Submit an application for the 2014 Tumbleweed Tree Lighting Ceremony here:
1. Vendor Information Sheet (pdf) - PLEASE READ THIS FIRST

2. Use either this Application (pdf) OR the Online Vendor Application 

** The Chandler Lions Club oversees the criteria and acceptance of vendors for this event.**



A Community Tradition

This unique Chandler tradition began in 1957, when Chandler resident Earl Barnum raised the idea of a tumbleweed tree after he saw a similar one in Indiana built out of cone-shaped chicken wire with pine boughs stuck in the holes. Many members of the community helped create the first tree in Chandler using tumbleweeds that they gathered from around town. Little did these folks know that they were the first to do such a thing and that it would continue as an annual Christmas tradition from then on. In fact, Chandler is the only city in the southwestern United States that has such a tree.

How is it done?

First, members of the City's Park Operations Division gather tumbleweeds from the outskirts of the City. With Chandler's rapid growth and development, fewer stretches of empty land are within the City limits, which makes it harder to find tumbleweeds in large quantities. So, the Park crews must start collecting the tumbleweeds earlier each year. Nearly 1,000 tumbling tumbleweeds are collected each year and are used to adorn a 25-foot tall wire frame. Then, the tumbleweeds are sprayed with 25 gallons of white paint, 20 gallons of flame retardant and dusted with 65 pounds of glitter. The tree is later adorned with approximately 1,200 holiday lights that give it a spectacular look, day or night. The lighting of the Tumbleweed Tree draws a large crowd, with more than 12,000 expected to watch the Mayor and members of the City Council flip the switch to light this magnificent sight. The Tumbleweed Tree Lighting Ceremony and the Parade of Lights (starting at 7 p.m.) help to bring our community together to kick-off the holidays.


  The Tumbleweed Tree through the years.