CitySkate, Fantasy of Lights Parade kick off holiday season in Phoenix area

One day after Thanksgiving, two events in Phoenix and Tempe marked the start of the holiday season.

City Skate

After taking a hiatus in 2020 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, ice skating is finally back in Downtown Phoenix, as CitySkate kicked off on Nov. 26, thus kicking off the holiday season.

"Christmas shopping, ice skating, we are going to eat, it will be a great time," said one person.

This year, CitySkate will be different, as it has been moved to Patriots Park at Cityscape due to light rail construction.

Regardless of where the ice rink is located, one of the the real reason it is so special is because everyone is enjoying the ice, while also taking in the perfect desert weather.

"We are just lucky. Ot is amazing what it is. Like to have sunshine and ice skating. It is awesome with music and everything," said another person.

CitySkate takes place every night from 5:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. Admission for adults is $18.

Fantasy of Lights Parade

Meanwhile, the holiday tree in Downtown Tempe was lit up, and the annual Fantasy of Lights holiday parade was back on. Like CitySkate, the event was on hiatus in 2020 due to COVID-19.

The parade featured kids and adults decked out in holiday costumes, as well as Christmas lights. Some furry friends also joined in on the festive celebrations.

"I just like the floats!" said one child.

"I like it because of all the lights. It just feels like Christmas, and I like Christmas!" said another child.

The Carter Family and their friends have made the parade their holiday tradition for the past ten years

"We camp out every year a little bit earlier," said Ali Carter. "We get food, hang out and the kids run around and play football, and then we watch the parade."

The family, like many others, missed the parade in 2020 due to COVID-19, and that is why they are extra excited to be back for 2021.

"We like to be out, and it's a great thing to come to," said Melissa Robichaub.

The kids anxiously watched as each float passed them by, until the big man himself showed up, eventually helping to light up the tree.

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