In the Before Time, Missoulians would gather downtown bundled in boots, mittens, beanies, and big, snuggly jackets to drink cocoa (sometimes with a pinch of peppermint spirits), sing holiday carols, and to light up the big tree at the north end of Higgins Avenue. Last year in 2020, the Missoula Downtown Association and some of our amazing local businesses came up with the "Reverse Parade of Lights" to bring joy to the community in the last month of a scary and disheartening pandemic year.

The MDA will bring back the Reverse Parade this year, but it will be along Higgins Avenue rather than around Campus Drive. The spectacular event will be pretty much like the Before Time but instead of the parade floats moving along the route, they will stay put and spectators will walk along Higgins. It was tough last year because we couldn't get out of our cars so it was quite a line, but this will be more of a holiday stroll.

When is the 2021 Parade of Lights?

On Saturday, December 4th, glorious holiday floats will be parked up and down Higgins Ave from Main Street to the XXXX’s from 4 to 8 p.m. You can stroll on foot up and down Downtown sidewalks with a hot cocoa in hand to enjoy the floats, the annual Festival of Trees, and participants in the window decorating contest. Or hop in your car and enjoy the floats from four wheels as streets will remain open and traffic will flow as usual.

A handful of community members and local business owners put a lot of work into making sure Missoula is able to kick off the holiday season on a joyful note, so be sure to bring your kids and parents out to enjoy the fun and magic of the season!

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