The Tri-Cities are known for their spectacular holiday-light displays, and 2021 is no exception. Whether you live in Richland, Kennewick, or Pasco, there are sure to be nearby lights and festivities to brighten your Christmas season.

Winter Wonderland Festival of Lights

Richland Parks and Recreation Department and HAPO Community Credit Union have once again partnered to offer the Winter Wonderland Festival of Lights, which runs from December 3 to January 2. During this event, John Dam Plaza is transformed into a miniature Christmas village complete with food trucks, miniature letter houses, reindeer, and visits with Santa at his workshop. Santa and Mrs. Claus will arrive at 5:45 p.m. on Friday, December 3 and join visitors in a countdown to 6 p.m. This will coincide with fireworks at the landing dock in Howard Amon Park. For the full itinerary, check out the flyer for Winter Wonderland 2021.

Tri-Cities holiday light displays
For a light display on the water, don’t miss the Christmas Lighted Boat Parade. Photo credit: Larry Kuga

Christmas Lighted Boat Parade

These fireworks kick off the annual Christmas Lighted Boat Parade, which starts at 6 p.m. under the Cable Bridge and proceeds up the river on the Kennewick side. The parade turns around at Howard Amon Park and returns along the Pasco side. They eventually cross over to the Kennewick side again due to water depth and make a final loop around Clover Island. If you’re tempted to cheer for your favorite boat, Parade Coordinator Larry Kuga offers a tip. “Boaters can’t hear people watching along the shore,” he explains. “If viewers want to show their appreciation for a particular boat, they can flash a flashlight or their car headlights to let the boaters know. They will usually get a honk from the boat horn in a thankful response.”

Christmas Carol Lane

Tri-Cities holiday light displays
Debie Britton’s home on Christmas Carol Lane in Kennewick. Photo credit: Emily Elledge

Kennewick residents are undoubtedly familiar with Christmas Carol Lane, which has been delighting young and old alike since the early 1960s. The houses will be decorated and lit by December 4, with over 75 participating homes. Each house traditionally features a song board with a chosen Christmas carol, displayed all month long. The song list and other details are still in the works, so be sure to visit the Christmas Carol Lane Facebook page for the most up-to-date information.

Senske Charity Christmas Light Show

Kennewick is also home to the Senske Charity Christmas Light Show. Now in its 19th year, this attraction features over a half-million lights and raises donations for 2nd Harvest. The already-impressive light installations are synched with music. If visitors want to listen along, they can tune their car radio to 90.3 FM. There will be additional choreographed light displays which sync to the music as well, thanks to new LED mega trees. Senske’s light show will open on December 1 and run every night of the month from 5 p.m. to midnight. It is located at 400 North Quay Street in Kennewick.

WinterfestTri-Cities holiday light displays

Pasco’s Winterfest will run for an entire week this year, from November 29 to December 4. The Candy Cane Scavenger Hunt takes place from November 29 to December 3, with clues announced on the Winterfest Facebook page each day at 8 a.m. On December 2, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., there is a drive-through goodie giveaway for kids at Volunteer Park (3rd Avenue side). The first 1,000 children will receive crafts and goodies. The Heritage Tree Lighting will be on December 3 at 5:30 p.m. Visitors can take photos with Santa and enjoy music, hot cocoa, and kettle corn from 4 to 6 p.m.

On Saturday, December 4, Winterfest Cinema will present three Christmas movies at the Pasco Sporting Complex’s north parking lot: “The Grinch” (2018 version) at 10 a.m., “Elf” at 1:30 p.m., and “Arthur Christmas” at 5 p.m. Pre-registration is required for the Winterfest Cinema. Be sure to check out the Winterfest event flyer or their Facebook page for the complete list of activities.

Light Up the Night

Tri-Cities holiday light displays
Bundle up and enjoy the Sunnyside Lighted Farm Implement Parade. Photo courtesy: Andrew Hamil, Vintage 509 Photography

For those willing to venture outside of the Tri-Cities, Sunnyside’s offerings are also sure to impress. The “Light Up the Night” house-lighting competition takes place from December 10 to 18, and visitors are encouraged to view all of the participating homes.

Lighted Farm Implement Parade

Sunnyside’s annual Lighted Farm Implement Parade is a regular favorite and has the distinct honor of being the oldest farm-implement parade in the country. Attendees can expect to see over 70 different vehicles emblazoned with dazzling light arrangements. This year’s parade is on December 4 and begins at 6:30 p.m. in downtown Sunnyside. Families with children are invited to visit Santa before the parade, from 2 to 5 p.m. Numerous holiday activities are happening on and around December 4, so be sure to visit Sunnyside’s events page for the full schedule.

Enjoy the holidays with one or more of these fantastic light arrangements. It’s a wonderful way to celebrate the season and spread some light during this dark part of the year.

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