Everyone loves a good inside scoop, right? Well we’ve got one for you. Event planners want to share some little-known facts about our annual holiday lighting event, the 20th annual Glendale Glitters. Grab a pen or fire up the printer, because you won’t want to forget these great tips for having the best event experience!
First and foremost: arrive early. Opening weekend will be very busy and the earlier you come, the better. If you are watching the lights come on Friday evening you will definitely want to get a seat in the amphitheater for the awesome countdown show, with none other than Captain Coyote Shane Doan as our special celebrity guest. On Friday night, the amphitheater fills up about 4:30 p.m. In addition, the earlier you arrive, the shorter the lines are for food, rides, and especially snow. It will be quicker to find parking, as well, the earlier you get to the event; both the shuttle lots (at 59th and Olive avenues) as well as the preferred parking in the downtown garages are easier to navigate. A bonus if you get here really early is watching the snow being blown in. Around 3:30 both Friday and Saturday, the ice machine delivers snow and it’s pretty cool to see a snowfield accumulate in just a few minutes.
Another great thing to remember: bring cash. Many vendors will only accept cash, and while we have ATMS located throughout the event site, it’s nice to be prepared and you will save time standing in line again.
Children absolutely love Glendale Glitters – from the snow to the petting zoo and of course, Santa Claus – it is a world of wonder for them. One thing to think about is not bringing a stroller. We want as many people as possible to enjoy the event, but when it comes to tighter spaces, a stroller makes navigating through the crowds much more difficult. If you can strap little ones into a backpack/baby carrier, not only will they get a great view from a higher vantage point, but the family can get around much more quickly. Pets are also part of the family for many, but we don’t advise that you bring your pets to the festival. Again, there are many people and some dogs get skittish around crowds. In addition, feeding and cleaning up after pets can be a chore. Leave them at home, and bring them a Frosty Paw treat from Papa Ed’s Ice Cream and they’ll be happy campers.
‘People watching’ is a favorite pastime for many people, and it’s especially fun to do at Glendale Glitters. After you take in the lights, sit back and watch kids and adults alike take in the wondrous display and hear the ooohs and aaahs. Speaking of kids, swing by Santa’s tent to see children’s faces lighting up (or tearing up in some cases) when they see the Jolly Old Elf himself.
Another thing to do is simply wander. Don’t be afraid to stray from the park. The light display covers 16 blocks in our downtown, and a stroll to see all those lights can lead to an undiscovered hidden gem. With more than 90 boutiques, specialty shops and mom-and-pop restaurants, there is plenty to explore! Plus, you’ll enjoy the charming stroll by the Craftsman-style bungalows in Historic Catlin Court and browsing window displays along the brick-lined streets in Old Towne. The perimeters would be 59th-57th avenues and Myrtle to Lamar.
While you’re exploring, make sure you have an event program, which includes a map of the event. That way, you will be sure to find that one must-see attraction. Whether it’s the gourmet food trucks or Santa Claus you’re looking for, you won’t get lost with your handy-dandy program.
The most important tip of all: get event hours, directions, entertainment listings and more before you head out. Visit www.glendaleaz.com/events for more information.