Mark your calendar and make the rounds!
It’s the season for thousands of twinkling lights! The calendar is filling up with lighted parades and festive, holiday happenings all around the Yakima Valley.
Lighted parades around the Valley kick off this Saturday, November 25, with the first of many traditional lighted parades in Toppenish, followed by Selah on December 1. The festivities continue with the iconic, Sunnyside Lighted Farm Implement Parade on December 2. Recognized as one of the top 10 lighted parades in the U.S., the city of Sunnyside has an array of festive events planned in celebration of the parade. Go early for the Christmas Market, to see Santa, sample delicious bites from food vendors and see the tree lighting ceremony. The crews are busy getting ready in Downtown Yakima for the Downtown Yakima Lighted Holiday Parade on Sunday, December 3. Last, but not least, the Union Gap Old Fashioned Lighted Parade on December 10 and the Moxee Lighted Parade on December 16 both wrap up with family friendly festivities.s. This drive-through event began as a way to celebrate the season during COVID, but has grown to become a much-loved annual tradition. You’ll find fair foods to enjoy and fast passes will be available for purchase online.
For something different, visit the Holiday Light Fest at State Fair Park, December 7 through 17. Back for a much-anticipated fourth year, State Fair Park puts on a spectacular show with more than 25 miles of lights illuminating the fairgrounds and festive, themed holiday scenes. This drive-through event began as a creative way to celebrate the season in 2020 and has grown to become a much-anticipated annual tradition. You’ll find fair foods to enjoy and fast passes will be available for purchase online for faster entry at an exclusive gate.
Two special events return this year as well. The Yakima Area Arboretum Luminaria, lighting up acres of trails and trees of the is December 8 and 9. This long-standing tradition is a beautiful and peaceful way to soak up the spirit of the season with a leisurely walk, taking in the lights all around the grounds of the arboretum. Don’t forget to make your timed entry reservation, as shuttle service will not be provided this year. Another local favorite from the Yakima Museum is the Holiday Lights Extravaganza. Join them for some holiday bling December 5 to 16! More than 30 local charities will be joining the museum to bedeck the museum galleries with beautifully decorated Christmas trees and other festive displays. Support local nonprofits when you visit and enjoy the spirit of the holiday season. View the trees and displays, each colorfully lit and extravagantly decorated by an area nonprofit. From your entry fee each adult and senior will receive $5 back in the form of five $1 tickets to award to their favorite tree or their favorite charity. The charities will redeem these tickets for cash. Celebrate the season and celebrate the charities that work so hard to do good in our community!
Check out the complete list of Yakima Valley Lighted Events.
Festive Holiday Fun
The Valley Mall has a full lineup of holiday festivities this year. Their brand new Winter Wonderland Ice Skating Rink is ready for your new seasonal traditions through January. Adorned with festive lights with a Christmas tree at the center, look forward to special events such as movie nights and concerts. Enjoy treats from local food vendors or s’mores over the fire pits. Make plans for story time and photos with Santa, for families and furry friends.
Back for another year, celebrate the season with Wagon Rides, Campfires and Christmas Trees at Red Mountain Trails. Nothing says “Holidays” like a horse-drawn wagon ride, cozy campfire and beautiful Christmas trees and gifts. Reserve now through December 30, for wagon rides (reservations required). Shop handmade wreaths, ornaments, gifts and goat milk goodies from their own goats at the in their gift shop. Sign up for a wagon ride, add on a fire pit experience wine flights (featuring wine from their own winery) and enjoy some s’mores, snacks or charcuterie.
Holiday Markets & Small Business Shopping
The festivities don’t end with lighted events! Saturday, November 26, is Small Business Saturday. Small businesses, boutiques and shops all around Yakima Valley are dressed up for the holidays, just in time to kick off the season of gift giving. Check out our guide to 11 Unique Boutiques and Shops ready to welcome you! Remember many Yakima Valley wineries and breweries are independent and family owned businesses as well!
A perennial favorite event this season is the 18th annual Mighty Tieton Holiday Craft and Antique Bazaar on Saturday, December 2. Each year is bigger and better than the last and promises to be a holiday bazaar like you’ve never seen! In fact, they’re expanding into additional space this year to showcase even more carefully curated vendors. Of course, Santa’s visiting from the North Pole and live musicians are bringing cheer! Expect to find the most unique handmade and vintage items in the region, including the finest selection of local foods, beverages and curated artisan goods.
Don’t forget to make a stop at the original Yakima Visitor Information Center and its second location inside the main entrance of the Valley Mall. Both locations curate locally made goods from throughout the Valley, including hand-selected gift baskets perfect for sharing with family, friends and business associates this holiday season. Stop by and pick up a pre-filled gift basket or place orders for custom gift baskets filled of Yakima Valley-made treats, products and local wine or brews. They offer in-town delivery and can ship baskets for you (wine and beer must be excluded from shipped baskets). In addition to baskets, both locations have a brand-new selection of attire. As always, both locations are your go-to stops for the inside scoop about what’s happening around the Yakima Valley.