Tumbleweed Tree Lighting Ceremony

tumbleweed tree lighting

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 lighting logo
Dec. 3, 2022
4:30 - 9 p.m.
Santa's House
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
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.

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. Attractions will require 1-4 tickets. Individual tickets are available for $1 per ticket.


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.

Parking Locations

  • 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:

tumbleweed tree lighting road closures
  • 2:30-8:30 p.m. Arizona Ave. closed between Frye Road and Pecos Road
  • 6-8:30 p.m. Frye Road restricted from Washington St. to California St.
  • 2-10 p.m. Arizona Ave. closed between Chandler Blvd. and Frye Road
  • 6-9 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.          Places! Productions

5:10 - 5:30 p.m.     Chandler High School Modazz Dance Company

5:40 - 6 p.m.          Studio 3 Performing Arts


places production dance group
Places! Productions

Places! is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, and its mission is to provide performing arts education and opportunities through summer programs, traveling performance troupes, and fully produced musicals and plays. Today's performance will feature numbers from Places' upcoming holiday musical, The Velveteen Rabbit.






modazz dance group
Chandler High School Modazz Dance Company

The Modazz Dance Company is Chandler High School's resident Dance Company, directed by their teacher Tiffany White. Comprised of 10-12th graders, dancers choreograph and perform for school events and the community. The overall focus of Modazz is to promote a lifelong love of Dance to all who watch.


Tumbleweed Tree Lighting is seeking vendors to participate in this year's event. Interested vendors must apply either online or by mail to the City of Chandler. 

Vendor Application Deadlines and General Information
  • The 2021 Vendor Priority Application deadline is Friday, Aug. 26, 2022.
  • The general vendor application deadline is Friday, Oct. 21, 2022, or when all space has been reserved.
  • If you are a new organization applying to participate in the event, your application will be accepted on a first come first serve basis once the priority deadline has expired. You are encouraged to apply prior to the 2022 vendor priority deadline and applications will be held in the order they are received.
Submit 2022 Tumbleweed Tree Lighting Application
  1. Vendor Information Sheet
  2. Application or Online Vendor Application

For questions, please email Special Events or call 480-782-2669.

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 holders, activity booths, or helping guests with event information. For more information on volunteer opportunities, please email Special Events.

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 wireframe.

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.

ADA Accessibility

The City of Chandler welcomes participation from all of its citizens. To request an accommodation due to a disability please allow 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 special.events@chandleraz.gov.