Parade Policies

Participant Information – September 23, 2020
Read Full Policies Here

The Parade of Lights is dedicated to preserving a top quality community parade with thousands of lights and entertainment value, and will ask for everyone’s participation and help as we strive for a SAFE AND HEALTHY event. The current Parade Policies reflect regulations including minimum lighting requirements, entry information, costuming, signage and judging as well as specific COVID-19 related health and safety regulations regarding the use of masks, social distancing and other elements to keep our participants safe. You will be responsible for also reviewing and accepting these policies, and requirements dealing with the pandemic and health requirements.

We are producing a television-only event with a select number of entries. Following the television broadcast, we will present a Downtown Showcase of Floats featuring static, display-only viewing (no performances or live events – static viewing only) on Monday and Tuesday, November 23 and 24, from 6:00 to 8:00 PM. As an entry, and if selected, you will be asked to participate in the television event, following strict CDC guidelines with regard to social distancing and masks, and then display your entry on Monday evening and Tuesday evening, from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM each evening.

The television event on Sunday will not have a live audience, but will feature videos, online and social media interactions to bring a unique creative quality to the broadcast.

We are looking for creativity, originality and, most of all…incredible lighting, wonderful music and awesome special effects! The more creative the entry, the better the chance of acceptance and of making this television-only parade and Downtown Showcase one of the most creative in all of Texas. The success of the GM Financial Parade of Lights is based on the originality and artistic creation of our floats and entries, and on the spectacular use of lights and special effects which has set this parade apart.

If you are interested in participating in our re-imagined parade, please read all instructions below and complete the application form, and the application must be submitted by October 13. We will notify you by October 20 of your acceptance.

Things to consider:

  1. All CDC guidelines will be in effect, and enforced, during the parade viewing time frames, including any staging, procession and performing opportunities;
  2. Only one entry per organization will be accepted in the case of organizations submitting more than one entry with similar characteristics;
  3. The turning radius in the Fort Worth Convention Center is limited to the dimensions of a hockey rink – your entry must be able to make this turn, without backing up, within an 85’ radius;
  4. At this point, we are not limiting the number of units within an entry; however, we do retain the right to manage this number based on television requirements;
  5. Performing groups such as marching bands, choirs, etc., may apply; however, we may not be able to present groups like this due to CDC separation guidelines. It may be possible to show video of performances – please note your interest and willingness to be flexible for this;

Larger vehicles such as firetrucks, busses or large trucks are limited to one per entry, and only two entries per club or organization. Large vehicles will be difficult to present within the convention center. Please note on your application your willingness to perhaps bring additional units to the Downtown Showcase.

Applicants who do not meet the minimum lighting and health requirements will be removed from the parade line-up prior to the start of the parade without recourse or refund.

Submitting an application does not guarantee inclusion in the parade.  We have hundreds of applications and typically only accept 100 units – no more – including our sponsors.  You can guarantee placement in the parade, along with airtime and commercials in the broadcast, by becoming a sponsor.

  • Click here for a full and complete PDF document containing all of our Parade Policies.
  • All applicants must fill out and sign an Indemnification Form prior to final listing in the parade line-up.
  • Check out our Fire Marshal Regulations here.

Here are some highlights of our Policies that may help you organize your unit for the upcoming parade:

Each entry MUST BE ILLUMINATED (light strands, flashlights, spotlights, florescent materials, etc.) according to the following minimum requirements:

  • Floats (decorated unit on a trailer pulled by a tow vehicle/self propelled/ or flatbed) Length
    • 5 ft., 800 lights
    • 10 ft., 1,300 lights
    • 15 ft., 2,000 lights
    • 20 ft., 2,500 lights
    • 25 ft. and over, 4,000 lights (no longer than 50′)
  • Cars/Golf Carts/Tractors 1,500 lights (no more than six units per one entry form)
  • Carriages/Stagecoaches/Wagons 1,500 lights
  • Trucks (tow vehicles are not included and should not be illuminated) 2,500 lights
  • Horses/Livestock (includes pull horse for horse-drawn vehicles) 75 lights each

All individuals in walking units must be illuminated. You can do this with lights (minimum of 50 per individual) using battery pack. *

Walking units will be limited and are required to accompany a float and/or provide entertainment value such as performing a mobile routine, clowning, drill team, cheerleaders or handling a giant balloon or inflatable or use creative holiday costuming.

CDC health requirements at the time shall be in force. ALL parade participants including float and horse riders, walking units and car drivers must be in costume or holiday wear, and conform to CDC guidelines. Please indicate costuming on entry description.

* Exception to the lighting requirement will be uniformed marching units, drill teams and/or cheerleaders; however, lights are encouraged.