Mary Hart, a television icon, local resident and long-time Mistress of Ceremonies of the Palm Springs International Film Festival’s Awards Gala, will lead the festivities along Palm Canyon Drive as this year’s Celebrity Grand Marshal for the 27th Annual Palm Springs Festival of Lights Parade, presented by Desert Wraps.

Each year the parade brings estimated 100,000 residents and visitors to downtown on the first Saturday in December to celebrate the holidays.

This year’s lights spectacular kicks off on Saturday, Dec. 7 at 5:45 p.m. on Palm Canyon Drive at Ramon Road and heads north concluding at Tamarisk. The parade will be broadcast live on NBC Palm Springs. Coverage begins at 6 p.m. Featuring twinkling floats, magnificent marching bands, huge Macy’s-style holiday balloons and Santa Claus, the parade is a much loved holiday tradition that is not to be missed!

In addition, Hart will serve as the Celebrity Tree Lighter at the official city of Palm Springs Holiday Tree Lighting on Friday, Dec. 6 in Frances Stevens Park on the corner of Palm Canyon Drive and Alejo Road. The Lighting of the city’s Holiday Tree takes place at 5:15 p.m. This year’s event features holiday caroling from the Palm Springs High School Madrigal singers along with holiday craft stations and story time with Santa. Free cookies and hot cocoa will also be on hand.

“I am honored and thrilled to serve as Celebrity Grand Marshal for this year’s parade,” Hart said in a news release. “The residents of Palm Springs and the Film Festival are near and dear to my heart and I cannot wait to see everyone and celebrate the holidays Palm Springs style!”

Hart, who served as co-host of Entertainment Tonight for an unprecedented 30 years, is a legend in entertainment journalism and listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest serving entertainment news host. In 2017, Hart received the Emmy Lifetime Achievement Award. She was inducted into the Broadcast and Cable Hall of Fame in 1999.

“The Palm Springs Festival of Lights Parade and Holiday Tree Lighting have become beloved Southern California holiday traditions that bring thousands of residents and visitors to downtown for a joyous weekend of festivities,” according to Mary Jo Ginther, Director of the Palm Springs Bureau of Tourism. “These events are uniquely Palm Springs and an important part of the magic that makes our city truly like no place else.”

Image Sources

  • Mary Hart: City of Palm Springs