Dayton Holiday Festival

The countdown to the 48th annual Dayton Holiday Festival, presented by DP&L, has begun. This year the festival will return to celebrate the holiday season with some necessary changes to keep our community safe.


The Dayton Holiday Festival will not gather guests in downtown Dayton for a tree lighting and traditional parade, but will kick off with events Thanksgiving weekend, including the Dayton Drive-Thru Children’s Parade in Lights on Saturday, Nov. 28 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. in downtown Dayton.

In order to safely control traffic and avoid long wait times, guests to the Dayton Drive-Thru Children’s Parade in Lights must reserve a free registration time slot to enter the parade. A link to the free registration is now open on the Dayton Holiday Festival website.

Instead of gathering in a large crowd, the Dayton Holiday Festival Committee hopes to continue Dayton traditions in a way friends and families can safely celebrate together while keeping the health and safety of the community in mind.

  • A televised Grande Illumination on Friday, Nov. 27, at 7 p.m. on WHIO-TV Channel 7
  • Dayton Drive-Thru Children’s Parade in Lights on Saturday, Nov. 28 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. in downtown Dayton.

The tradition of lighting the larger-than-life holiday tree on Courthouse Square will unfold during a special 30-minute broadcast that will air on WHIO-TV, Channel 7 beginning at 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 27. The partnership with WHIO will showcase musical entertainment from some of the area’s top performers, a look into area holiday traditions, and several surprises.

The following evening, on Saturday, Nov. 28, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., Main Street in downtown Dayton will transform into the Dayton Drive-Thru Children’s Parade in Lights. Spectators will slowly pass through several blocks of downtown streets in their own vehicles, getting an up-close view of the lineup of festive floats, holiday entertainment, and hundreds of thousands of lights that will be on display along downtown Dayton’s Main Street. Please note the following about the Drive-Thru Parade:

  • Space is limited to the number of guests who can navigate the Dayton Drive-Thru Children’s Parade in Lights. Register for your spot at the link found on the Dayton Holiday Festival website.
  • Admission is FREE to attend, but you must register your vehicle for an arrival time window.
  • One registration per vehicle. Whether you’re driving through by yourself or packing the whole family into a big van, you’ll just need 1 parade registration for your vehicle. Please register additional vehicles separately.
  • Drive-thru only. For the health and safety of participants and performers, walking the parade route will not be permitted.
  • No vehicle? No problem. Greater Dayton RTA will be offering an option to ride a bus through the parade. More details to come. No registration for this option – first come, first served only.

The Dayton Holiday Festival is a program of the Downtown Dayton Partnership, and is presented by Dayton Power & Light.  Additional support comes from White-Allen Chevrolet, CareSource, Dayton Children’s Hospital, NECA/IBEW Electrical Professionals, the City of Dayton, Montgomery County, and the Mrs. Virginia W. Kettering Dayton Holiday Festival Fund. Special thanks to WHIO-TV,, and iHeartRADIO for in-kind media support.

For a complete list of downtown’s events, a dining guide, parking maps and more, visit, and follow the DDP on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram to keep up with downtown events and news.

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