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Winterhaven Festival of Lights preparations underway for 71st season

Published: Dec. 4, 2021 at 8:21 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - One of Tucson’s most beloved traditions, the Winterhaven Festival of Lights, is back on this holiday season after it was cancelled last year due to the pandemic. It’s one of the longest running festival of lights in the country.

Excitement is building for the festival’s 71st year and will run from Dec. 11-26 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

“We are just thankful things are starting to look up, we all need a little cheer,” said Winterhaven resident Rachel Davidson.

Davidson’s family has always lived in Tucson, but this is their first year with a home in the Winterhaven neighborhood.

“Anybody that lives in the neighborhood, we were warned that if you want jolly families running around, that’s what to expect,” she said.

Hundreds of thousands of people visit each year. TEP and Cox lend a helping hand using their trucks to put lights high in the trees the week before the festival.

“I have kids myself, it’s a big deal and people love coming out. We are more than happy to come out and help in any way we can,” said Alfredo Lozano, a Cox network technician volunteering Saturday.

It’s a highly anticipated tradition that the entire community is pleased to see return.

“The whole neighborhood is really excited. We had a great turnout of people coming to help and everybody is decorating. It’s going to be a great year,” said John Lansdale, the Winterhaven Festival Chair.

Although COVID variants are still around, the Lansdale said the community feels the outdoor event lowers the risks.

They will continue to release updates as the planning process continues.

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