Always the day after Thanksgiving at 6pm


The Lighting Festival is unique in that we love to welcome families and friends to be in the parade. Silly, serious, always lit up – the crowds love to see how creative you can be. Whether you’re it’s a float, walking or dragging something – we want to see how creative you can be! Ugly sweaters and synchronized snow shoveling anyone? There is a cash prize of $200 to the winning family and/or friend parade unit! 

Not to leave the businesses out of the fun, we’re also have a business parade challenge just for you! The winning business will receive a charming – ahem – traveling trophy and bragging rights. 


How to enter and rules
Please note that signing up for the parade doesn’t automatically enter you in the contest, you must complete the steps below to participate. 

  1. Take a picture of your parade unit, as it will look in the parade (we know it will be dark – it’s night time – but everyone will be in the same boat so no worries).
  2. We know businesses often enlist their family to be in the parade with them, but you can enter in one category only. Either Friends/Family or Business but not both. 
  3. Submit your entry photo, along with the name of your unit (e.g. The Nelson Family; BFFs Forever; ABC Electric), your name, phone number, and email and send before noon the next day (Saturday) to: ‭(651) 206-1190‬ (text) or
  4. Once all entries are received, they will be posted to one of two separate Lighting Festival Facebook posts – one for families/friends and one for businesses.
  5. Invite every living person you know to go to your picture on the Lighting Festival Facebook page and click “Like.”
  6. The family/friend unit and business with the most likes on Monday morning at 10am is the winner!


  • There is no entry fee for our parade.
  • IMPORTANT: This is an evening parade, so for safety reasons, we allow no candy. We also want the kids to enjoy the magic of the parade and not be on the lookout for candy. We ask that your respect the sprit of our request. 
  • Other than the mayor of Taylors Falls, we do not allow political parties or politicians in the parade.
  • The Lighting Festival has their own Santa and Mrs. Claus. No other living Santas for Mrs. Claus’ are allowed. You are welcome to have plastic or inflatable Santa’s, etc. 
  • The staging area will be along Pine Street (next to The Drive-In Restaurant) and back along River Street PROMPTLY at 5:30 PM.  The Lions Club members will help get you lined up
  • The parade starts out from the Pine & Bench Streets at 6:00 when the town “lights” come on
  • In the past, we sometimes have trouble being consistent in keeping adequate space between the 20 plus units.  We’ll all be more mindful in doing that this year.
  • Units follow the route to the end of Bench Street, turn right, and travel up in front of the Springs Motel behind the Chisago House.
  • Want to be in the parade contest? Signing up for the parade doesn’t automatically enter you in the contest, you must follow the entry rules as outlined on this page. 

You will receive by mail/email several days prior to the parade with a written order for the parade line up. It will include a map of the simple parade route.  Traffic will be diverted. 

As you think about your unit……think MAGIC, LIGHTS and FUN! If you can add any or all of these features to your part in the parade, it will be the best ever.

Parade Entry

  • Please be advised that the Santa Parade has a strict no candy rule for two reasons. First, this is an evening parade and it is not safe for children to dart into the street in the dark and secondly, for the spirit of the parade. When there is candy, that is what kids focus on instead of the parade itself. Thank you for your understanding.