Festival of Lights Colorado Springs


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Festival highlights

The holiday tradition for the Festival of Lights Colorado Springs gathers numerous people and crowds of spectators every month of December. There are around 60,000 people, including visitors and tourists flock together in the streets just to watch the participants in the festival parade.

Festival of Lights Colorado Springs

Beautiful display of music, performances, and sparkling lights. As the festival started every year, this was also aired on television and viewed by those people who cannot physically attend and witness the Festival of Lights in Colorado Springs.  

This event makes it very special and memorable to all people and guests because of the different festivities, floats, marching bands, horses, and even artistic and cultural programs. This parade for Festival of Lights Colorado Springs is a non-profit organization that has been making the parade for almost 36 years.

The festival parade in Colorado Springs initiates at the joint section of St. Vrain Street and Tejon St. in the downtown of the city. Then, it ends at the joint section of Vermijo Avenue and Tejon St.

Aside from the parade, the festival parade has creative events, programs, and performances meant for educating and entertaining the public. These special events are:

  1. Chamber Chorus Concert
  2. The Colorado College Choir; and
  3. The Colorado Springs concert every year

Moreover, there are some decorative trees at the Meridian Ranch Recreation Center. Some other classical songs and Christmas Carols can be seen at Ent Center for Arts. There are some spectacular Christmas shows at Tri-Lakes Center for Arts in Palmer Lake. Aside from that, there are Live Nativity Performance and Creche Exhibit at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, located at 8710 Lexington Drive. It features more than 500 native scenes from all over the world.

Festival Dates 2023

Clear your schedules and mark your calendars because the Festival of Lights is set to illuminate Colorado Springs on December 9, 2023, a Saturday. That’s right, you have the perfect weekend opportunity to be a part of this spectacular light festival. Imagine this: twinkling twinkle lights, the harmonious glow of fairy lights, and an entire parade that rivals any Christmas light show—all on a day when you can truly kick back, relax, and enjoy the festivities. So, make sure you don’t book anything else for that day; the Festival of Lights promises an evening you won’t forget.

Where It’s Located and How to Get There

The Festival of Lights Parade graces the streets of downtown Colorado Springs, specifically stretching from Vrain Street to Tejon Street. Imagine a corridor of light where every inch is decked with twinkling curtain lights, fairy lights, and even twinkle lights trees. This makes the parade route not just a walkway but a runway, where the stars of the show are the dazzling displays of lights and community spirit.

The closest airport to downtown Colorado Springs is the Colorado Springs Airport (COS), located approximately 11 miles southeast of the festival location. But don’t worry, you’re not limited to fairy wings to get you there. Several options are at your disposal:

  • Shuttle Services: Various companies offer shuttle services to and from the airport.
  • Taxi: A classic choice, usually available 24/7.
  • Ride-Sharing: Uber and Lyft operate in the area.
  • Car Rentals: Available at the airport if you prefer to drive yourself.
  • Public Bus: Mountain Metro Transit provides service, though you might have to make some transfers.

For those of you who enjoy the scenic route, taking a train to Colorado Springs can be an adventure in itself. Here’s a guideline on how to get to Colorado Springs from other cities:

  • From Denver:
    • Take Amtrak’s Thruway Bus Service from Denver Union Station to Colorado Springs.
  • From Chicago:
    • Catch the Amtrak California Zephyr to Denver.
    • Transfer to the Thruway Bus Service to reach Colorado Springs.
  • From San Francisco:
    • Board the Amtrak California Zephyr to Denver.
    • Take a Thruway Bus Service to Colorado Springs.
  • From New York City:
    • Board the Amtrak Lake Shore Limited to Chicago.
    • Switch to the California Zephyr to Denver.
    • Finally, hop on a Thruway Bus Service to Colorado Springs.
  • From Los Angeles:
    • Take Amtrak’s Southwest Chief to Raton, New Mexico.
    • From there, you’ll need to arrange for bus or car transport to Colorado Springs, as there’s no direct train service.

Make sure to check the respective train company’s official website for up-to-date information.

Other amazing festivals to check out in Colorado and nearby areas are:

Denver Zoo Lights

ABQ BioPark River of Lights

Festival Hours

You’ll want to set aside some quality time for this luminous affair. The Festival of Lights Parade is scheduled to begin at 5:30 PM and will continue to dazzle attendees until 8:30 PM. That’s a solid three hours of entrancing lights, lively performances, and communal cheer. 

Whether it’s the blinking Christmas lights that catch your eye or the ethereal curtain lights that make you feel like you’re in a winter wonderland, there’s enough time to soak it all in. So, set those reminders and don’t be late; this is one festival where time really does fly when you’re having fun!

How Much Does It Cost to Visit the parade of lights Colorado springs?

The parade of lights Colorado springs is free! but the actual cost which you may spend always depends on the distance from your location to Colorado Springs. If you are just thinking of the travel fee, then the location is a big factor that you need to consider. However, it is a must to consider your actual expenses once you are already in Colorado Springs.

Of course, if you are from a neighboring city and you would like to stay nearby for how many days, then it is advisable to bring extra money for your food and hotel accommodation. There are some hotel rooms that offer affordable prices but with good ambiance and are only adjacent to the downtown of Colorado Springs. So, you can choose the best place for you and for your family if you prefer to stay in Colorado for a few days just to enjoy the activities and events for the festival.

Since the parade of lights Colorado springs happens every December, it is expected that the weather is quite colder in comparison to the previous months. This is because of the winter season and a sudden fluctuation of weather during this month. So, everyone is advised to wear thick clothes and bring jackets or scarves, which would make you comfortable during your vacation in Colorado Springs.

Best and Affordable Hotels Near the Festival

Choosing the best and affordable hotel accommodation for you and for your family is quite daunting, especially if you are not from Colorado Springs. However, it is just a matter of choosing an ideal one that would be apt for your budget and preferences. If you wish to stay nearby the festival, then you may consider the following hotels for you:

The Academy Hotel Colorado Springs – This could be a great option for you since it’s one of the top-rated hotels near the Festival of Lights in Colorado Springs. It features a wide array of amenities and facilities which will make you comfortable during your holiday tour and vacation. It offers free Wi-Fi and a daily breakfast with waffles and omelets. The guestroom is clean and has a refrigerator and microwave for great convenience.

La Quinta Inn & Suites Colorado Springs – This is a perfect choice for guests who would like to visit Colorado Springs for the festival. It offers a friendly environment with different facilities and amenities designed for great convenience for vacation.

La Quinta Inn by Wyndham Colorado Springs Garden of the Gods – This hotel accommodation is an excellent choice for you since there are a complete facilities and amenities at just an affordable rate. You can see this place online by visiting some reliable sites and check their best deals and offers for the holiday season.

What to Eat

Aside from these hotel accommodations during your visit to the Festival of Lights Colorado Springs, it is also essential if you will explore the best places or restaurants where you can feast. At least, in this way, you can find delicious foods that would be apt for your budget. If you want some help in choosing the best places where you can east during your visit to Colorado Springs, then you may consider the following options:

  • Salsa on the Rock – This restaurant is a perfect place for you if you’re longing for some Mexican foods. It offers different types of palatable foods with fresh ingredients, perfect margaritas, and delicious desserts. This is one of the top-rated restaurants in Colorado Springs. This restaurant is also a budget-friendly.
  • Mackenzie’s Chop House – This restaurant in Colorado Springs is highly recommended by many people because of the delicious foods and well-accommodating staff. You can choose from a wide array of food selections and enjoy every savory meal that you order. They also offer desserts and drinks, which would bring more satisfaction upon tasting their specialties.
  • Jack Quinn’s Irish Pub & Restaurant – Another budget-friendly place where you can go is Jack Quinn’s Irish Pub & Restaurant. It offers a variety of food for both vegetarian and gluten-free options. Many customers are highly satisfied with their foods and services; so, it is also advisable if you will consider this restaurant as your choice when visiting Colorado Springs for the festival.

More Things to Do in the Area

Garden of the Gods

Location: 1805 N 30th St, Colorado Springs, CO 80904
Description: This National Natural Landmark is a jaw-dropping collection of sandstone formations, creating a surreal landscape that practically begs for exploration.

  • Hiking: Various trails for every level of hiker.
  • Rock Climbing: For the adventurous souls.
  • Nature Walks: Guided tours available to learn about the ecology and geology.
  • Photography: Capture the landscape, which often benefits from the natural outdoor lighting that Colorado Springs is famous for.

United States Air Force Academy

Location: U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, CO 80840
Description: This military academy is not just about jets and cadets. The sprawling campus offers stunning architecture and scenic views.

  • Cadet Chapel: An architectural marvel you need to see.
  • Visitor Center: Educational exhibits and Academy information.
  • Hiking: Several trails leading to overlooks of the academy and its jets.
  • Parade Ground: Witness cadet drills and formations.

Seven Falls

Location: 6 Lake Ave, Colorado Springs, CO 80906
Description: Known as the “Grandest Mile of Scenery in Colorado,” Seven Falls features a series of cascading waterfalls, and it’s a sight that rivals the best light festival or blinking Christmas lights. Activities:

  • Hiking: Trails available for all levels.
  • Soaring Adventure Zip-Lines: Feel the rush as you zoom above the falls.
  • 1858 Restaurant: Dine alongside the falls.
  • Botanical Gardens: Perfect for a gentle, scenic walk.

If you want to have the best experience while staying for a holiday season in Colorado Springs, then it is essential to pick the best hotel accommodations and restaurants for you and for your family. Also, don’t forget to personally experience the Festival of Lights in this place since this is the most awaited event that only happens once a year.

Here are a few more holidays of light festivals that you might want to see:
LA Zoo Lights
Festival Of Lights Birmingham
Lake Julian Lights



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