More of Glendale will light up this holiday season, but not because of Glendale Glitters.
The drive-through light show World of Illumination, previously called Illumination Symphony of Light, is moving its north Phoenix location to Westgate Entertainment District in Glendale this year.
The event will be held nightly from Nov. 20 to Jan. 5 at 6797 N. 93rd Ave. There is a second location at Tempe Diablo Stadium, 2200 W. Alameda Drive.
Each location will have nearly 2 million lights fully-synchronized to holiday music and its own special features, such as a 36-foot-tall animated snowman in Glendale and a 500-foot long light tunnel in Tempe. The owners, Yakir Urman and Simon Kreisberger, claim it is the world’s largest animated holiday drive through light show.
They said they moved the Phoenix location to Glendale because they see it as a great way to introduce more people in the West Valley to the event.
“We have the extraordinary opportunity to work with the city of Glendale and Westgate Entertainment District to really expand our reach and work in partnership with such a growing, vibrant area of the Valley,” Urman said.
The event will take place five miles from downtown Glendale, where every year the city hosts Glendale Glitters, a display of just about as many holiday lights strung across 16 blocks with a kick-off festival during Thanksgiving weekend. Glitters has for decades been a tradition for families across the Valley.
City officials and the owners of World of Illumination do not see their events as competing with one another. Glitters is free and World of Illumination is paid, said Heidi Barriga, the city’s special events administrator.
Kreisberger said their event will simply enhance what the city has to offer.
What to expect at World of Illumination
World of Illumination is a good option for families with small children or people who can’t easily get around, such as older adults, because you stay in your car for the event, said Cathy Herd, the event’s spokeswoman.
Attendees pay per vehicle, not per person. Tickets are available online for $22.99 for Monday through Thursday, and $32.99 for Friday through Sunday and holidays. Tickets purchased at the gate are $40.
The show takes about 25 minutes to drive through. “And you can pack in as many people as you want to go,” Herd said.
There’s sometimes a wait to get in, so Herd recommends buying tickets ahead of time and going on a week day, when it’s not as busy.
More information can be found at www.worldofillumination.com.
Other Westgate holiday activities
World of Illumination is an extension to Westgate’s festive holiday atmosphere and complements the walking events at the district, said Jessica Kubicki, director of marketing for YAM Properties, which owns Westgate.
- Outdoor ice skating at Skate Westgate, Nov. 8 to Jan. 12.
- A holiday tree lighting ceremony at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 26.
- Photos with Santa, Nov. 26 to Dec. 24.
- Horse-drawn carriage rides, Nov. 29 to Dec. 21.
“Westgate is chock-full of holiday happenings,” Kubicki said.
More information can be found at www.westgateaz.com/holiday.
What to expect at Glendale Glitters
Glitters will kick off with a festival on Nov. 29-30 in the downtown area, near 58th and Glendale avenues. It is free to attend.
The city will switch the lights on at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 29. Visitors can expect holiday entertainment, food, fake snow, holiday storytelling, a kids’ workshop and Santa Claus.
The lights will be up nightly until Jan. 11, so visitors can experience the light show without the festival crowds. The city won’t be sponsoring most festival activities during weekends in December, as it continues to scale back the event.
The event ends on Saturday, Jan. 11 with the Glendale Glitter and Glow festival, with glowing hot air balloons, bands, food, rides and more.
More information can be found at www.glendaleaz.com/events.
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