On any given night during the festival, the voices of children shouting with joy can be heard from every corner of Winterhaven. This long standing tradition of visiting the Tucson Winterhaven Festival of Lights, is something that most families have a dear memory of, or years of memories compiled. This tradition of walking tree lined streets with old brick homes decorated with lights, people, and delight has stood the test of time. Families have been developed on these bright lit streets with first dates, marriage proposals, and young children to tell these beautiful beginnings to.
The Winterhaven Festival of Lights started in 1949 with a group of neighbors wanting to celebrate our Tucson diversity with a beautiful display of Decorated Homes. CB Richards donated the first set of lights and official judging began. Many years ago the festival began taking the opportunityto give back to the community by collecting donations and giving them to the Tucson Community Food Bank. The Tucson community has helped the Festival of Lights be the number one donor in Tucson.
The festival is a community effort. In 2008 the market crashed and our tradition was nearly lost. The City of Tucson was no longer able to donate officers to help patrol the festival, manage traffic, and keep everyone safe. Since then the community has had to fund the $75,000 in security fees. We won’t talk about how much it costs to take a potty break while walking around the Festival. A few other costs involved are baracades to make the festival a beautiful and safe walking environment. Insurance helps protect everyone that visits. Thankfully, since 2008 we have been fortunate to have large community leaders donate at a corporate level. Unfortunately this is something that may no longer sustain the Festival, due to their own cuts in Community Donations.
Please consider keeping the Winterhaven Festival of Lights a community effort by donating today. Any amount will help keep our Tucson tradition alive.
For a few years now, we have had banners decorating our streets, which indicate wonderful corporate donors. We hope to add another banner soon, “Festival of Lights Sponsored by the People of Tucson!” Help the festival continue being Tucson’s holiday tradition, and top provider to the Tucson Community Food Bank.
Blessings to you and your family.