As temperatures drop across Arizona, the holiday season will be heating up as Downtown Tempe plays host to some of the Valley’s favorite and most well-attended events, as well as new events, after an 18-month hiatus.


From signature events, including the Halloween Stroll, Fantasy of Lights Holiday Parade and Tree Lighting, Tempe Festival of the Arts and the much-loved Fantasy of Lights Boat Parade to Second Sundays on Mill event series (formerly known as the 6th Street Market), there will be much to see and experience during the most festive time of the year.


Planned with some modifications and changes to accommodate social distance and safety, the full roster of announced events includes:


·        2021 Halloween Stroll: On Oct. 24 from 2-5 p.m., families will be able to enjoy the return of one of the friendliest family events in Downtown Tempe – the Halloween Stroll. Taking place at 6th Street Park, the event includes games, crafts, a costume contest, and trick-or-treating courtesy of local merchants around the Downtown area. Suitable for all ages, the community favorite event is free to participate. More information is available by visiting


·        Fantasy of Lights Holiday Parade and Tree Lighting: Nothing says the holidays quite like the sights of thousands of colorful sparkly lights illuminating the night sky. On Nov. 26, between 4 and 9 p.m., the Fantasy of Lights Street Parade and Tree Lighting officially kicks off the holiday season. Families can cuddle up, enjoy some holiday eats and treats, and even a stroll through a special holiday market before the street parade beginning at Mill Ave. and 3rd St. and ceremonial tree lighting of the 40-foot holiday tree at Centerpoint Plaza on 7th St. just west of Mill Ave at 7 p.m. For more event details, visit


·        Tempe Festival of the Arts: An arts lover’s paradise, Tempe Festival of the Arts returns from Dec. 3-5 from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Located on the city streets of downtown Tempe, on Mill Ave. between 3rd St. and University Parkway, and on 5th St. between Myrtle and Ash Aves., this much-anticipated event showcases more than 350 artists from around the country. Art afficionados can explore art, enjoy tasty treats and eats from local vendors, street performances, and more. For more information about the event, including a parking information, public transit schedule and map of festivities, visit


·        Fantasy of Lights Boat Parade: One of the Valleys’ most unique holiday events and celebrated traditions returns at 4 p.m. on Dec. 11 as Tempe Town Lake hosts a festive boat parade at 6 p.m. and is capped off by a one-of-a-kind fireworks show at 8 p.m. The free event also features live music, and local shopping and dining opportunities for those strolling through the park. For additional details and schedule of events, please visit:


·        Second Sundays on Mill: The popular weekly 6th Street Market is getting a facelift and growing into a new monthly event series called Second Sundays on Mill and runs from November through April. Moving to main street with a local market featuring local art, handmade crafts, baked goods, unique gifts and more, the family-focused free-admission event will also include pop-up street performances, live music from local musicians, community programming, fitness classes and outdoor games. Surrounded by delicious eats and treats from local restaurants, families will have an exceptional opportunity to mill around Mill on a Sunday afternoon. Details, including the full list of event dates and information about becoming a vendor is available at:


As additional events are announced, Downtown Tempe Authority will update information on its events website, located at:


Each event has been carefully evaluated and  modified, where possible, to incorporate safety measures that help reduce the transmission of COVID-19. Downtown Tempe is also incorporating educational awareness into the events this fall/winter to encourage safe participation.


WHY:                    With a reputation as a destination for unique experiences and events throughout the year, Downtown Tempe’s return of signature events provides myriad opportunity for more shared experiences and help support small businesses, artists, and vendors.


WHEN:        2021 Halloween Stroll: Oct. 24, 2-5 p.m.

Fantasy of Lights Holiday Parade and Tree Lighting: Nov. 26, 4-9 p.m.

Tempe Festival of the Arts: Dec. 3-5, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Fantasy of Lights Boat Parade: Dec. 11, 4-9 p.m.

Second Sundays on Mill:   Nov. 14, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

                                                 Dec. 12, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

                                                 Jan. 9, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

                                                 Feb. 13, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

                                                 March 13, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

                                                 April 10, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.


WHERE:               Downtown Tempe. For a full listing of event locations, please visit:

 The award-winning Downtown Tempe Authority is a private, nonprofit organization that works in partnership with the City of Tempe to increase the value of Downtown Tempe through enhanced management, safety, marketing, and promotional services on behalf of DTA members and other downtown stakeholders.

More information about Downtown Tempe’s Fall/Winter festivities this season, including a complete lineup of events, is available at

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