Some things are simply synonymous with the holidays — pumpkin pie, peppermint mochas, gingerbread houses, and of course, the City of Chandler’s Annual Tumbleweed Tree Lighting and Parade of Lights. Every December, Mayor and City Council invite you to celebrate the holidays in Downtown Chandler. Behold the iconic Tumbleweed Tree, visit with the jolly man himself, Santa, and enjoy musical performances and glowing pageantry of lights. It's an evening of merriment the whole family can enjoy.
Tumbleweed Tree Family Photos
Did you rock around the iconic Tumbleweed Tree and snap a free photo? Scroll through this year’s holiday photos and download yours.
Partnership with the Chandler Lions Club
- Did you hear that Santa Claus is coming to Chandler?
- You can meet him and get your picture taken with him for free!
- Santa's House will be CLOSED from 6:30 to 8 p.m. while Santa is in the Parade of Lights
Santa is indeed coming to town and he’s hosting a whimsical workshop. Little elves (and big ones too) can have some yule-tide fun as you make handmade holiday ornaments. A variety of ornaments available for kids of all ages.
Letters to Santa
Need to get your letter to Santa? The Tumbleweed Tree Lighting has a direct line to the jolly man himself. Kids of all ages can decorate and write wish lists. Remember he’s checking his list twice, so you’ll want to highlight how you’ve been nice! Letters can be mailed by placing them in Santa's mailbox.
Chandler Fire Department Toy Drive
Come assist our brave firefighters in spreading the holiday cheer to the community by donating a new toy for a deserving boy or girl. Each year, the Chandler Fire Department collects new and unwrapped toys for kids from newborn to 18 years old. They will distribute over 4,500 toys to the community during the holidays. Help the community by donating toys such as bikes, scooters, sports equipment, hot wheels, electronic games, learning toys, books, etc...all new toys will be happily accepted. Drop by the Chandler Fire Department Fire Truck during the event to drop off your donated toy!
Tag you’re it! Drop by and play a free session of glow in the dark laser tag alongside family and friends. Laser tag is open to players of all ages.
Giddy-Up! Little buckaroos can saddle up and enjoy free, friendly pony rides in the heart of Downtown Chandler.
Inflatable Bouncer Area
Play your way through giant inflatables that bounce, bump and slide you all over the place. Activities and games are provided by AZ Inflatable Events. Wristbands are $10 each for unlimited play or purchase of individual tickets to enjoy select attractions. Individual tickets are available for $2 per ticket.
- Obstacle Course
- Bounce House
- Interactive Items
- Rock Wall
Guests attending the event are strongly encouraged to carpool and arrive early to find parking. There are several locations to park throughout the Downtown area. Please visit the parade overview map to see these exact locations. Suggested routes to access each parking site is also listed.
- P1 - City Downtown Parking Garage
Enter Structure from Chandler Blvd. and California St. to Buffalo St.
- P2 – Street Parking
Parking Lot accessible from Boston St. and San Marcos Pl. via Dakota St.
***San Marcos Pl. (between Buffalo St. and Commonwealth Ave.) will be closed from 2:30 - 10 p.m.
- P3 – Oregon St. Parking Garage
Parking Garage accessible from either California St., Oregon St., or Chicago St.
- P6 - City Hall Parking Garage
Enter Structure from Frye Rd. and Washington St.
- P7 – San Tan Regional Court Surface Parking Lot
Enter lot from Dakota St. and Chicago St.
- P8 – San Tan Regional Court Surface Parking Lot
Enter lot from Frye Rd.
- P9 – City Surface Parking Lot
Enter lot from Dakota St. and Chicago St.
- P10 – City Police Department Surface Parking Lot
Enter lot from Dakota St. and Chicago St.
- P11 - First Credit Union Parking Structure
Enter Structure from Chandler Blvd. to Delaware St. and Boston St.
- P12 - Downtown Library Parking Lots
Enter Lot from Chandler Blvd. to Delaware St. and Boston St.
- P13 - Ports America Parking Structure
Enter Structure from Chandler Blvd. and either Washington St. or Colorado St.
- P14 - Site 7
Enter Lot from East Bound Chandler Blvd. and Washington St., make right into the lot
Supplemental Parking Locations
Additional parking may be available in these locations. Please follow all traffic laws when crossing all streets to get to the event area.
Folley Park - Map
*Enter from McQueen Rd. and Frye Rd. or Pecos Rd. and Hamilton St.
Please Be Aware of the Following Closures:
- 2:30-8:30 p.m. Arizona Ave. closed between Frye Road and Pecos Road
- 6:30-8:30 p.m. Frye Road restricted from Washington St. to California St.
- 2:30-10 p.m. Arizona Ave. closed between Chandler Blvd. and Frye Road 6:30-9 p.m. Chandler Blvd. restricted from Delaware St. to California St.
- 6-9:30 p.m. Arizona Ave. closed between Galveston St. and Chandler Blvd.
The holiday spectacular kicks off at 4:30 p.m.
4:40 - 5 p.m. Dance Connection 2
5:10 - 5:30 p.m. Ballet Folkloric Quetealli-AZ
5:40 - 6 p.m. ABCD of Dance LLC
6:10 - 6:25 p.m. Pueblo Middle School Show Choir
Dance Connection 2 has been training dancers in the valley for over 30 years. They proudly present the award-winning Dynamite Express Dance Team under the direction of Sierra Worth and Megan Garrido. This talented team consists of exciting young jazz dancers, ranging in age from five (5) to seventeen (17). For over 30 years, they have entertained audiences with their “Dynamite” routines at various sporting events, stage shows and parades. DCTutu’s is their youngest performing group. A fun, beginner class which builds confidence and instills a love for dance! They train in multiple styles such as tap, jazz, ballet, and tumbling. This is a great entry-level program to prepare these tiny dancers for our performing team- Dynamite Express!
Ballet Folklorico Quetzalli-AZ
Ballet Folklorico Quetzalli-AZ of Chandler, Arizona is a dynamic non-profit dance organization celebrating the colorful traditions of Mexican folkloric dance. Under the direction of Vanessa Ramirez, the group began as a recreational class at the City of Chandler’s Snedigar Recreation Center. As one of very few East Valley folklorico groups currently operating, interest in the dance troupe has grown rapidly from just six students in June of 2008 to more than 90 students currently. Ballet Folklorico Quetzalli-AZ’s students range in age from five (5) to adult and enjoy an exciting and fun way to express themselves through dance and learn about Hispanic heritage.
Students learn dances from various regions of Mexico. Not only do they have fun and get good exercise, but they receive a small history lesson with each dance. Each month the students are assigned a homework assignment related to the region of Mexico where the dance they are learning originates or of a particular cultural holiday. Each child shares in class what they’ve learned in a presentation. This encourages self-esteem through cultivating public speaking skills as well as the showmanship of performance. It has been wonderful to observe the growth and confidence that these young children have developed in such short time. They are truly an inspiration.
ABCD of Dance LLC
ABCD refers to Any Body Can Dance and as our name suggests. We believe in making anyone dance Bollywood starting from age five (5). We teach various Indian Dance styles including Bollywood, Bhangra, South Indian Folk, Garba etc. We have over 200 students across the valley spread at four different locations Chandler, Gilbert, Scottsdale, and Happy Valley. We are looking forward to entertain you all with high energy Bollywood Dance.
Pueblo Middle School Show Choir
The Pueblo Middle School Show Choir is an auditioned ensemble made up of sixth, seventh, and eighth-grade students. This group entertains audiences of all ages all over the East Valley and Southern California with their strong voices and stellar choreography. This is the group you won't want to miss!
Interested in participating as a performer during the 2020 Tumbleweed Tree Lighting and Parade of Lights? Stayed for more details. Stage Performer Applications open in May 2020.
For more information:
Mail: Attn: Annette Watson, PO Box 4008, MS 500, Chandler, AZ 85244
Tumbleweed Tree Lighting & Parade of Lights is seeking vendors to participate in this year's event. Interested vendors must submit an application either online or by mail to the City of Chandler.
Stay tuned, information regarding 2020 Vendor Applications will be announced shortly.
Tumbleweed Tree Lighting is continually seeking interested individuals, organizations and companies who want to sponsor our great festival 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 Hermelinda.Llamas @chandleraz.gov.
Are you interested in volunteering? We have a great opportunity for anyone who needs community service hours or just wants to help out a great event. Volunteer opportunities range from setting up, parade banner holder, activity booths or helping guests with event information.
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.
For more information or questions about this event, please email or call 480-782-2669.
Chandler Special Events Hotline
The City of Chandler welcomes participation from all of its citizens. To request an accommodation due to a disability please allow at five (5) days prior to the scheduled event. Contact the City's Special Event Coordinator at 480-782-2665 (or 711 via AZ Relay Service) or firstname.lastname@example.org.