YUMA, ARIZ. —Those who love Christmas in the Yuma community know that it's time to start planning their parade entries for the 2020 Dorothy Young Memorial Electric Light Parade on December 12, 2020.

The anticipated event is in its 18th year and features the theme "Favorite Holiday Traditions." This year, the parade's organizer, Visit Yuma, is focusing on home, family, and the traditions that make Christmas and winter holidays special. "With the upset that COVID-19 has introduced into everyone's lives, we all just want some comfort, and that's what traditions give to families," said Linda Morgan, Executive Director of Visit Yuma. She went on to say, "We're hopeful that we'll be able to hold the parade, with social distancing and safety measures in place. Follow Visit Yuma on Facebook and social media to stay updated on any changes to the parade."

A favorite tradition for nearly a generation, the parade typically draws more than 40,000 Yuma residents and visitors to the Historic North End each year to celebrate the holiday season. "As we get a little closer to the date, we will determine if our efforts to protect parade participants and spectators is sufficient to keep everyone safe," said Morgan. Since the parade covers more than three miles, there is plenty of space for spectators to be spaced out on the sidewalks and side lots. The parade kicks off at 6 p.m. on 4th Avenue and winds through Historic Downtown Yuma, with spectators lining the streets to view the lighted creations as the parade marches by.

The parade is named in honor of its creator, Dorothy Young, a much-loved event coordinator with City of Yuma Heritage Festivals, who had often indicated that the Electric Light Parade was her favorite event.

This year, to recognize the parade's best entries, a panel of judges will choose winners for several categories, including the Dorothy Young Memorial Trophy for Best Performance by a Marching Band, and the Mary Jane Allen Award for Best Depiction of the Parade Theme.

Parade entry forms will be ready soon. For the most current updates, watch Visit Yuma's Facebook page and sign up for Visit Yuma's weekly e-news, It's Happening, through Visit Yuma's website, www.VisitYuma.com.