Downtown Tucson will be full of holiday cheer on Saturday, Dec. 15. Enjoy a full day of family-friendly events – everything from finally getting that wish list to Santa to the 18th Annual Downtown Parade of Lights – right in the heart of Tucson.

The festivities start bright and early at 9 a.m. at the Maynard’s Farmer’s Market, 400 N. Toole Ave., where local vendors will pack the plaza to create a uniquely Tucson holiday shopping experience. Carolers, wreath-making classes with Colleen, owner of Atelier de la Fleur, treats from Isabella’s Ice Cream, and samples of Borderlands beer will also be available at the market. Even more local holiday gifts may be found all day at the Holiday Bazaar at Mercado San Agustín, 100 S. Avenida Del Conveto.

At 11 a.m., head over to Tucson’s Historic Depot, 414 N. Toole Ave., to visit with Santa and hear a reading of the beloved holiday classic, The Polar Express. Children can have their photo taken with Santa in front of Locomotive 1673, write letters to the North Pole and more.

The seasonal fun continues at 2 p.m. at the crown jewel of Downtown, the Fox Tucson Theatre, with a special screening of the 2004 Tom Hanks movie, The Polar Express, in which a doubting young boy takes a magical train to the North Pole to find out if Santa is actually real.

Beginning at 4 p.m., the Tucson Museum of Art, 140 N. Main Ave., will feature mariachis and plenty of fun for the entire family. Stay warm with hot chocolate served by Downtown’s Lohse Family YMCA, 60 W. Alameda Street. At 5:45 p.m., join Mayor Jonathan Rothschild at Jacomé Plaza in front of the Main Library for the Mayor’s Tree Lighting Ceremony, including a performance from the Reveille Men's Chorus.

After the Tree Lighting, Mayor Rothschild and members of the Tucson City Council will lead off the 18th Annual Downtown Parade of Lights at 6:30 p.m. from the corner of Franklin Street and Granada Ave. See brightly decorated entries and floats from community organizations, local businesses and families on the new parade route through the beautiful, historic El Presidio Neighborhood. Kids will delight in the parade finale featuring a special guest just in from the North Pole.

Throughout the day and after the Parade, Downtown retailers will be open, providing a convenient shopping experience for all of your gift-giving needs. Finish the day at one of Downtown’s more than 40 exquisite restaurants for an unforgettably delicious dinner, or enjoy a night on the town with dancing and cocktails.

More information on where to park, dine and shop and a complete list of holiday events is available at

The Downtown Tucson Partnership is a non-profit, 501(c)(6) corporation committed to making Downtown Tucson the most dynamic urban center in the Southwest.

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