Wheaton Christmas Parade Nov. 26 kicks off Festival of Lights

  • The annual Wheaton Christmas Parade travels along Front Street, followed by the "Nights of Lights" lighting ceremony in Adams Park. This year's parade steps off at 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 26.

    The annual Wheaton Christmas Parade travels along Front Street, followed by the "Nights of Lights" lighting ceremony in Adams Park. This year's parade steps off at 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 26. Courtesy of Wheaton Park District

  • The entrance to Wheaton's Cosley Zoo is aglow with color during last year's Festival of Lights. This year's holiday light display opens Nov. 26 and continues to Dec. 30.

    The entrance to Wheaton's Cosley Zoo is aglow with color during last year's Festival of Lights. This year's holiday light display opens Nov. 26 and continues to Dec. 30. Courtesy of Cosley Zoo

 
 
Updated 11/22/2021 5:23 PM

The Wheaton Park District, in partnership with Downtown Wheaton Association and City of Wheaton, will host the Wheaton Christmas Parade Friday, Nov. 26, in downtown Wheaton.

The colorful, light-filled parade steps off at 6 p.m. The parade starts at Wheaton and Wesley avenues and heads south on Wheaton Avenue to Front Street, heading east on Front, ending at Cross Street. The viewing stand will be on Front Street.

 

Spectators of all ages will enjoy magical floats, meet favorite characters before or after the parade, and see Santa.

End your festive-filled evening with the "Nights of Lights" lighting ceremony in Adams Park at approximately 7:15 p.m.

Street parking will be closed at 3 p.m. on Wheaton Avenue, Seminary Avenue, Wesley Street and Front Street to allow for parade staging and to ensure a safe route for attendees and parade participants. Parking on Karlskoga Avenue will be closed beginning at noon.

Wheaton Place Parking Garage at 232 W. Wesley St. will be accessible before, during and after the parade off Wesley Street through the alley. Parking garage entrances on Front Street and the exit on Wheaton Avenue will be closed during the parade. Follow on-site traffic personnel while entering and exiting the parking garage during the parade.

Streets will be reopened immediately after the parade, which takes about an hour.

Learn more at wheatonparkdistrict.com/events/wheaton-christmas-parade/.

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Festival of Lights

The Festival of Lights and Christmas Tree Sale at Cosley Zoo also kicks off Nov. 26.

Cosley Zoo is transformed into a winter wonderland with 20,000 twinkling lights; a selection of Christmas trees, wreaths and greenery; hot chocolate; and an assortment of holiday gifts in the Wild Side Gift Shop.

The zoo at 1356 N. Gary Ave. is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. The lights come on at 3 p.m. Zoo admission is free during the Festival of Lights and Tree Sale. Donations are greatly appreciated.

Advance reservations are not required during the Festival of Lights. Reservations will return in January.

On Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve, the zoo is only open from 9 a.m. to noon and closed on Christmas Day and New Year's Day.

The Coyote Concession stand will only be open for hot chocolate service on weekends from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and weekdays from 3 to 9 p.m.

The Wild Side Gift Shop offers holiday gifts, children's toys, apparel and a lot more.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 
The tree sale fundraiser at Cosley Zoo in Wheaton opens Nov. 26. It will feature four varieties of trees ranging from 3 feet to 12 feet, as well as wreaths, greens, and garland, available for purchase.
The tree sale fundraiser at Cosley Zoo in Wheaton opens Nov. 26. It will feature four varieties of trees ranging from 3 feet to 12 feet, as well as wreaths, greens, and garland, available for purchase. - Courtesy of Cosley Zoo

The proceeds benefit the Cosley Foundation. The 501(c)3 organization is dedicated to raising funds in support of Cosley Zoo. All purchases at the zoo are tax-deductible to the extent allowable by law.

You've been 'Grinched'

Many houses were "Grinched" last year and the park district wants to do even more this year. For $15, a staff member will leave treats and a yard sign at a house letting everyone know they've been "Grinched." Grinch your family, your friends, or your neighbors in Wheaton this holiday season. Go to www.facebook.com/wheatonparkdistrict/ to find links to sign up.

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