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Cardondelet St. Mary's: Proud Title Sponsor of the 22nd Annual Downtown Parade of Lights and Festival

by Kai Parmenter

The holidays are upon us, and with them come one of Downtown’s biggest annual events: the Downtown Parade of Lights and Festival. Now in its 22nd year, the Parade of Lights is a Tucson staple, where thousands of spectators gather in the streets of Downtown to enjoy musical performances, one-of-a-kind holiday themed floats and groups, and other festivities. And with over 1,500 entries, this year’s Parade is on track to becoming the largest, most diverse one yet.

Of course, none of this would be possible without the generous support of several Tucson-based organizations. The title sponsor for this year’s event is Carondelet St. Mary’s Hospital, which has supported the parade for several years now.

“We love being part of the West side Tucson community, we love being part of Downtown,” says Dr. Amy Beiter, CEO of St. Mary’s Hospital. “This is a huge event for the city…we’re just really thrilled to give back to the community.”

According to Kelly Raach, Director of Marketing for St. Mary’s, the Parade is also a great opportunity to connect with the people of Tucson directly, and emphasize wellness. “We really strive to not only support those who are not feeling well…but to provide a resource of education and health year-round, and what better way to do it than in the middle of the holidays, when everyone is coming together?”

In keeping with this ideal, Carondelet St. Mary’s will be hosting a Wellness Area at the Downtown Holiday Festival, where people can learn about the many health and wellness resources available throughout Tucson, in addition to what St. Mary’s has to offer. Many other local health partners will also be on-hand to help spread the knowledge.

“We’re very excited about that partnership,” says Theresa Mouton, CFO for St. Mary’s. “Not only to give the information, but also to have resources available at the event.”

This year’s Parade of Lights will take place on the evening of Saturday, December 17, in the historic Armory Park neighborhood (view the full route here). The Parade is open to all groups and organizations, and will feature cash prizes for various categories, including best historical/cultural theme, best use of lights, best overall entry, and best musical and youth group, respectively.

Better yet, there will be a ton of other holiday-themed events happening in Downtown throughout the day. Stop by Johnny Gibson’s Market at 9 a.m. for Snowflake Making Workshops, then visit the Historic Train Depot at noon for a photo with Santa. Beginning at 4 p.m., the Downtown Holiday Festival at Armory Park will feature live entertainment, local food vendors, children’s activities, and the aforementioned Wellness Area presented by St. Mary’s. The annual Mayor’s Tree Lighting Ceremony will take place at 5:30 p.m., followed by the Parade, which will kick off at 6:30 p.m.

To learn more about Carondelet St. Mary’s and their history of serving Tucson, visit their website here. For all other information on the 2016 Downtown Parade of Lights, check out our DTP event page here.