Parade, tree lighting, chili cook-off and more family fun awaits as the city begins the countdown to Christmas with the Dec. 5 Holiday Extravaganza.

Countdown to Christmas Begins


Holiday Parade
Expect to see drummers drumming, pipers piping, lords a-leaping, ladies dancing and much more as Irving’s Parks and Recreation Department brings the theme, “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” to life at the city’s annual Holiday Parade at 4 p.m. Dec. 5 in downtown Irving. More than 60 parade entries — from floats to bands to community organizations — have signed up to showcase their holiday spirit as they travel through downtown Irving to the applause and cheers of thousands who will line the historic downtown parade route.

The parade will travel southbound on N. O’Connor Boulevard, eastbound on Second Street, northbound on Lucille Street, westbound on Irving Boulevard and northbound on N. O’Connor Boulevard. Applications for parade entries are available at and will be accepted until Nov. 25.

Ceremonial City Hall Tree Lighting
After the parade, meet neighbors and friends on the lawn at City Hall, 825 W. Irving Blvd., to behold Irving’s traditional tree lighting ceremony in all of its splendor. A full program of family-friendly entertainment, which will begin at approximately 5 p.m. Dec. 5., will prepare attendees for the once-a-year moment when the city’s 30-foot-tall paramount pine tree topped with a Moravian star is first illuminated for the season.

In addition to Santa Claus, Dana’s Dance Academy will make a special appearance at this year’s tree-lighting ceremony. As this year’s special guests, the Irving-based dance group will present a full-scale artistic musical production, complete with choreography and music to spread the holiday spirit among the crowd.

At the tree-lighting ceremony, attendees can expect to encounter children’s craft opportunities, food vendors and also enjoy a cup of complimentary hot chocolate. The event will conclude with the ceremonial tree lighting led by city officials and a full fireworks display against the nighttime sky.

Blue Christmas Seventh Annual Chili Cook-Off
The Blue Christmas Chili Cook-Off returns as part of the city’s Holiday Extravanganza and will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 5 at Heritage Park, 217 Main St. The multidimensional event will feature concession stands, disc jockey, cake walk, vendors, face painting, bounce houses, pictures with Santa, raffles, silent auction and more.

In an effort to spread a little holiday cheer, toys will be collected at this event and shared with local families who are facing economic challenges. Accordingly, cook-off contestant entry fee is $20 for chili or $10 for beans along with an unwrapped toy. Bean entries are due at noon and chili entries are due at 1 p.m. Dec. 5. Professional (e.g., Chili Appreciation Society International members) and amateur contestants are welcome. Attendees can sample chili flavors by purchasing a tasting cup at the event for $5.

Holiday Lights at Centennial
In keeping with Irving tradition, the festive Holiday Lights at Centennial Park returns this year and can be viewed from dusk to 10 p.m. Dec. 5 through 28. There is no admission charge. Centennial Park is located at 444 W. Second St.

Admission to the parade and tree-lighting ceremony are free, so bring the entire family to Irving’s historic Heritage District to celebrate the joy of the holiday season. For more information, visit

Presented by City of Irving

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