Coming from the Northeast originally, a Christmas parade was not something I am used to! But, I knew my kids would love to see a parade in person, so we took off to see it!
Unfortunately, Litchfield Park doesn’t say anything about where the parade is other than “city center” on its website, so if you are unfamiliar with Litchfield Park, what does City Center mean? Luckily I was behind other cars that knew where they were going, so I just followed them! But, if you aren’t that lucky, here’s a helpful map!
We Parked right next to City hall off of Wigwam, but we arrived pretty early. Wigwam and Old Litchfield Road is closed off for the Parade from about Staggs Park (W Desert Ave and Old Litchfield on the South) to W Cottonwood and Old Litchfield Road.
The organizers expect between 6000-8000 people at the parade, and it was definitely hopping! We arrived before 9 am, and unfortunately, the snow pile, pony rides and Santa all open up after the parade. So, other than looking for shopping or grabbing something to eat and sitting out your spot for the parade, there was nothing to do for the kids.
And the wait is excruciating when you have three littles that want to run.
So, we walked around the vendor area, and walked past the Litchfield Park Recreation Center.
This was a cement ball that my kids tried jumping on. It kept them amused for a bit, so, why not?!
We also got the kids to hug the crocodile with the crazy smile! Haha, it was for an orthodontist office! I think the kids realyl were hugging him because they wanted a ride in the train that the orthodontist has (but, once again, available after the parade).
Baskin Robbins was giving away free ice cream so my kids were very happy to help get rid of some of that!
We found a spot for the parade at about 9:30 and were second row behind others. I highly suggest bringing chairs or something to sit on (if you are able to get your kids to sit still!) . If you want front row seating, I suggest having two adults-one to stake out your seats and the other to run around with the kids. My kids loved the parade and were excited because marchers were throwing out things like candy.
When did the throwing of candy start anyhow?
We were by the round about at Wigwam Blvd and Old Litchfield Road, and I think the candy throwers were getting a bit tired as we were at the end of the parade route. But, if you want any of the candy or giveaways, being right at the street is where you need to be. My older kiddos were let to go in front of an older gentleman so they were right at the street, which made me a bit nervous since there are a lot of vehicles that come very close and they were getting distracted by candy. I highly suggest setting up your place about 9am, putting down some chairs and then having someone run the kids around for 45 minutes if possible!
The parade is about an hour long, and the crowd disperses quickly. The pony line and train line grew extremely long quickly, and the snow area was extremely small -like 12×12′ so we ended up heading home. My kids were very happy with seeing the parade and my little guy was tired!
A fun parade, once you know where it is, what to expect and how to set up! And buy lots of treats and snacks!
Also, the round about is not a good place to set up for watching the parade. The City of Litchfield Park staff kept ushering people away from sitting there until the parade began (and I think they just gave up). So, find a spot on Old Litchfield road on the West side of the street (northbound) or in the median facing the northbound section!
Christmas in The Park-Litchfield Park
Old Litchfield Rd and Wigwam Blvd south to Old Litchfield and Desert
(usually second Saturday in December)