Lights fantastic

Road closures, parking, and more to know about Parade of Lights in downtown Fort Worth

Road closures, parking, and more about Parade of Lights in Fort Worth

GM Financial Parade of Lights Fort Worth
Parade of Lights kicks off the holiday season in Fort Worth. Photo courtesy of Parade of Lights

The sights and sounds of the holidays will fill downtown Fort Worth for the 37th annual GM Financial Parade of Lights on Sunday, November 24. But getting caught in snarled traffic and fighting for parking spots are major bah humbugs.

Here's what to know about road closures (they start at 6 am!), parking, parade route, and more before you head downtown. All information is provided by the parade organizers, and more can be found on their website.

Street closures: Repeat — They start at 6 am Sunday. These include 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 pm. Belknap, Henderson, and North Main streets will stay open to traffic during the parade. For a full list of street and intersection closures and times, check this very detailed chart.

Parking: Several free and paid lots and garages will be open for parking on parade day. Hint: visit this Fort Worth parking site and search “Parade of Lights” to see all parking options. Anyone planning to park in the County Garage on Calhoun Street can expect to pay a $5 fee per car. Parking next to bagged meters is strictly prohibited. 

Public transportation: Skip the driving headaches and board the train. Both TEXRail and the Trinity Railway Express (TRE) will run special Sunday service trains for the parade, taking attendees to and from Fort Worth Central Station, located two blocks from the parade route. Just know that the last eastbound train will depart at 10:40 pm.

Also, TrinityMetro will extend its service hours for bus routes 1, 2, and 15 until 11:15 pm. Trinity Metro will also operate its new electric bus service, The Dash, throughout downtown and the Cultural District until 10:30 pm for free. Visit the TRE site and TrinityMetro site for schedules and more.

Know the parade route: The parade and opening ceremonies start at 6 pm on Weatherford and Throckmorton streets. This year it features more than 100 illuminated floats marching down a 1.59-mile parade route. From its starting point, the parade will run east along Weatherford Street, turn south on Commerce Street, all the way to 9th Street. At 9th Street, it will head west to Houston Street, and then turn north on Houston Street all the way to 2nd Street. At 2nd Street, it will run west to Throckmorton Street, then turn south and conclude at 3rd and Throckmorton streets. People line up to watch on all portions of the route.

Reasons to arrive early: For the first time, "Sounds of the Season" performances will take place before and during the parade. Arranged by Hear Fort Worth, five local entertainers will perform 15-minute sets as they travel block-to-block on mobile holiday-themed platforms. Performances start at 4:30 pm and will continue throughout the parade. Participating artists include Danni and Kris, Grady Spencer & the Work, Jack Barksdale, DJ Soft Cherry, and The Squeezebox Bandits.

Also, from 12 pm until the end of the parade, a brand-new, track-ready 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray (dressed for the season in a red metallic tint coat) will be on display near the GM Financial grandstand, on Main Street near the corner of Weatherford Street. Check it the redesigned iconic sports car before it hits dealerships until early 2020.

Watch it live: For those unable to be there in person, the parade will be broadcast live on KTXA-TV/Texas 21, and also via live stream on the official Parade of Lights’ Facebook page. If you're following along on social media, look for the hashtag #ParadeOfLights2019 on the official Twitter and Instagram accounts.