Hidalgo Festival of Lights


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Hidalgo Festival of Lights has transformed from a simple community holiday gathering into South Texas’ largest Christmas light show. With its 30th anniversary, visitors can expect much more surprises than before.

This light festival allows you and your loved ones to tour the three miles of more than 500 illuminated displays alongside more than five million fairy lights, blinking Christmas lights, curtain lights, and twinkle light trees. You can explore the Wonderland-like place on a holiday train or in your car. You will witness the twinkle lights on narrated tours with all-time favorite holiday tunes.

Hidalgo Festival of Lights
Festival highlights

Every visitor is welcomed with a theme and colorful parade in front of City Hall Plaza along Ramon Ayala Drive. This light exhibition brings fantastic performances with performers across Hidalgo, marching bands, and illuminated floats. 

Every evening, you and your friends and family will enjoy various carnival rides. Plus, delicious carnival foods are also available at the site. The holiday event is arranged to accept vehicle types with seating up to 12. The entire drive-thru experience lasts about 25 to 30 minutes. 

Visitors can bring their favorite snacks to enjoy the light festival even more. If not, they can purchase snacks and beverages at the beginning of the event. 

Hidalgo Festival of Lights Dates (2022)

The holiday lights fluorescent glow against the sky created a perfect environment to celebrate the holiday tradition with your loved ones. As Hidalgo rejoices the festival of lights’ 30th anniversary, you will witness the longest drive-thru trail yet.

Hidalgo Festival of Lights Dates starts on Dec 16, 2022, and ends on Jan 1, 2023. So, you have a long time to ensure that you can join this spectacular holiday season event in Hidalgo, Texas. This Christmas light show is more enjoyable if you bring your entire family. Visitors of all ages will enjoy every moment, from twinkling lights to delicious treats. 

The three-mile non-stop holiday lights in the shapes of famous locations in the world and familiar characters will bring a different kind of happiness to the visitors. So, do miss this one-of-a-kind event in Hidalgo.

Where It’s Located and How to Get There 

The annual Christmas fairy lights show in Hidalgo is continuously growing not only for the residents but also for local and international tourists. The event gives everyone an opportunity to relax and spend valuable time with their loved ones. 

Hidalgo Festival of Lights returns to Payne Arena, 2600 N 10th Street, Hidalgo, Texas. The closest stations to Hidalgo are Pecan and Post Office (9 minutes walk, 734 yards away), Hackberry And W. of 40th (7 minutes walk, 585 yards away), and Jasmine and N. of Cynthia (4 minutes walk, 307 yards away. The bus lines near the festival site are 5 and 6. 

Hidalgo Lights Festival Hours 

The people behind the Hidalgo Lights want to make Hidalgo be Texas’ brightest place this holiday season. The festival hours are from 6:00 PM to 11:00 PM from Mondays to Sundays. So, you and your companions can enjoy the light exhibition, foods, and other activities for a long time. It is recommended to arrive at the festival site a few minutes before it starts. That way, you will not miss anything. 

Making your entire holiday season magical and memorable is easy with the festival of lights. The event guarantees that you and your family will enjoy many memories while exploring the illuminated light trail. 

How Much It Cost to Visit  

Every holiday season must be celebrated with the whole family and make it unforgettable by attending incredible events like the Hidalgo Festival of Lights. The Hidalgo Christmas lights is designed to gather everyone in one place and experience the spirit of Christmas in a more enjoyable and meaningful way.

Visiting the Hidalgo Festival of Lights is an affordable way to relish the holiday season with your friends and family. A $20 general admission ticket is required in every vehicle with a 12-person maximum capacity. You can purchase a $40 Dash Pass if you want to skip the line.

If you and your companions do not mind the crowds, you can get a $25 wristband for all the carnival rides. A $10 per person is also available for the Santa Express, touring the trail of lights. Aside from that, the light festival is free to visit and enjoy the live music, petting zoo, the Christmas tree, and Santa’s house. 

Weather and What to Wear 

The Christmas celebration in Hidalgo is never complete without the annual light exhibition and carnival activities. As you step into the festival venue, you will already feel the magic. Then, you will end your day with a big smile on your lips.

Meanwhile, before you get too excited with your festival of lights adventure, ensure that you are familiar with the place’s weather. That way, you know what you should pack.

As mentioned above, the festival of lights starts in December and the weather during this month is dry and mild with a little rain. Temperatures generally reach the low 20s C (high 60s F) during the day. At night, temperatures dip into single digits C (low 40s F). So, it is advisable to bring socks, dresses, long skirts, standard footwear, a light jacket or fleece, long sleeve blouses or shirts, and pants. Do not forget to pack a raincoat, waterproof footwear, windproof umbrella, and a waterproof luggage cover.

If you plan to visit Hidalgo during January, you can expect the weather to be the same as in December – dry and mild with little rain. Temperatures tend to be around the low 20s C (high 60s F) during the day, while temperatures can dip into single digits C (low 40s F). ensure to pack socks, long skirts, light jacket or fleece, pants or jeans, standard footwear, and a rain jacket. Bringing a waterproof luggage cover, windproof umbrella, waterproof footwear, and phone bag is also recommended. 

Hotels Nearby the Festival

After a long day of adventure in the Hidalgo Festival of Lights and other attractions, it would be nice to take a rest in a comfortable and relaxing hotel room, right? Part of your light festival preparation is to book accommodation from any of the following top options:

SpringHill Suites by Marriott McAllen Convention Center 

This accommodation has a great location, where guests can visit different destinations. It offers complimentary breakfast, free Wi-Fi, and free parking. The staff is very accommodating and friendly.

Studio 6

This accommodation is clean and has access to the highway. The staff is very responsive and handles everything professionally. Plus, it is convenient to shop and access different tourist attractions. 

Baymont by Wyndham McAllen 

Baymont offers free parking, complimentary breakfast, and free Wi-Fi. The rooms are spacious enough with comfortable beds and pillows. The breakfast is delicious, and the facilities are great.

Embassy Suites by Hilton McAllen Convention Center 

Guests will enjoy the amenities and stay at Embassy Suites. It has a coffee shop in the lobby. It offers excellent customer service and makes the shopping, dining, and visiting attractions convenient and comfortable. 

Where to Eat 

Aside from the festival of lights, Hidalgo is also an incredible destination when it comes to food. Before joining the festival, you can try the following food destinations together with your loved ones:

Paula’s Tea House & Deli

This food house offers a unique dining experience through American and Mexican food options. While eating delicious food, guests can enjoy the vintage design of the building with vintage artifacts.


This restaurant serves American and Deli food options. It is located very close to work and delivers fast service. The place is well-decorated and clean; the food selections are vast and delicious.

Stars Drive-In of Hidalgo 

Burger lovers will appreciate the burgers in this food hub. The customer service is great, and the food selections are affordable.

Santa Fe Steakhouse and Cantina 

This steakhouse is perfect for drinks, dinner, and late-night food trips. It has a native South American motif and serves some of the finest steaks, seafood, and pork chop in town. An extensive wine list is also available.

More Things to Do in the Area 

When you visit Hidalgo, do not limit yourself to visiting different attractions. You can bring your loved ones to the following destinations:

Old Hidalgo Pumphouse Museum and World Birding Center 

This tourist destination is the right choice for those who want to get close to nature. The grounds are well maintained, and visitors can use the picnic area. There are also walking paths dedicated to the bird center.

State Farm Arena 

This area hosts various indoor football games in Hidalgo. Visitors can explore the area and feel like they are also players.

McAllen Public Library 

When you visit Texas, do not miss a chance to visit this public library. The exterior is quite inviting, with a unique art exhibit near the entrance. There is a specific area for study groups, study rooms, kids, and teens. 

Arik Akunis
Arik Akunis

My name is Arik Akunis and I have been in the field of lighting for over the last 20 years, I started my journey in the world of lighting in the lighting niche for events where I first came across a festival of lights and immediately fell in love with it.

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