The Festival of Lights, has chosen Y OPAS, the KIWANIS and ONE SMALL STEP as charity partners to support for 2019. Since 2000 FOL has partnered with local charities that assist us with our events, and are selected by a process held in January that is based on both the charity’s purpose and their contribution to the community.
Y OPAS – (Outreach Program for Ahwatukee Seniors), a program of the Ahwatukee Foothills Family YMCA, is a community effort offering free support services for the seniors of Ahwatukee and their caregivers. Services are provided by community volunteers, with the goal of assisting seniors in maintaining independent living in their homes.
KIWANIS – helps kids around the world. Local clubs look out for our communities and the international organization takes on large-scale challenges, such as fighting disease and poverty. We are generous with our time. We are creative with our ideas. We are passionate about making a difference. And we have fun along the way.
ONE SMALL STEP (dba CLOTHES CABIN) – helps children, families, and individuals living in poverty to attain a more productive life by providing quality clothes, shoes, and other services. Our vision is that no person or family within our service area lacks the clothing they need to secure employment, maintain a healthy and hygienic life, and be socially accepted.
The Festival of Lights (FoL) was founded in 1995 as an Ahwatukee community initiative after the developer of the Foothills, Del Webb, discontinued promotional festive-season lighting along the Chandler Blvd medians. Three women, residents of Ahwatukee, felt that the lights were a beautiful landmark and should be present each festive season. They established the FoL as a 501C3 charity to implement substantial community events to raise money to fund the annual lighting. This has been accomplished all of the years since 1995 utilizing what has become a very substantial network of volunteers. Activities are centered on two events: the Wine Tasting in spring and the “Kick Off Party” on Thanksgiving weekend commemorating the start of the holiday season and the illumination of the lights. These two events, along with contributions from two HOA’s (Foothills and Club West) provide funding for the lights as well as support to selected charities in Ahwatukee.
Given the large scale of the various annual events, the FoL stands as a remarkable example of community spirit. Through thick and thin, the organization has sustained and grown each year, frequently reinventing itself to maintain freshness and relevance. All of this is achieved by exploiting the energies and thousands of hours of residents working as volunteers.
Our signature annual events:
- Wine and Beer Tasting Festival in April at The Foothills Golf Club
- The Holiday Kick Off Party, our fiesta in Desert Foothills Park the Saturday after Thanksgiving
- The Million White Lights that famously illuminate Chandler Boulevard (from 24th Street to Desert Foothills Parkway) for the festive season
Festival of Lights Association
4605 E. Chandler Blvd. #110-125
Phoenix, AZ 85048
What is the Festival of Lights (FOL)?
Check out our video here!
What are the two fundraisers organized by the FOL?
The Beer and Wine Tasting Festival in April and the Kick Off Party always on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.
When do the lights turn on and off on the medians of Chandler Blvd.?
The lights will be illuminated the Monday before Thanksgiving and turned off in early January.
Is there an admission charge to see the lights?
No, it’s simply a mile long drive down Chandler Blvd. between 24th St. and Desert Foothills Pkwy. in Phoenix.
What is the “Kick Off Party”?
The “Kick Off Party” occurs on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, from noon to 8pm and is a large, family-friendly festival in Desert Foothills Park. There is no admission fee. There will be 16 restaurants, a large beer & wine tavern, live music on 2 stages, 100+ Marketplace vendors, visits with Santa, cornhole tournament, inflatables and rides (there is a cost for these).
How many people typically attend?
Up to 15,000.
How can someone apply to be a vendor on Marketplace during the Kick Off Party?
Spaces begin selling in late August each year. Check during the summer for information.
How can someone apply to be a food vendor?
Typically, these spots are filled from year to year by local restaurants. However, an email can be sent any time to introduce a new food vendor.
What is the parking situation?
There is street parking surrounding the park, however limited. We do provide shuttle buses from Altadena Middle School to the park all day.
Is there handicapped parking?
There is handicapped parking on Marketplace (entrance off of Desert Foothills Pkwy.) just before the vendors’ tents.
Is there a rain date?
Unless the FOL cancels the event due to unbearable conditions, the event goes on rain or shine. All fees are nonrefundable.
How can someone apply to be a charitable beneficiary for next year?
The application will appear as a tab sometime after the Kick Off event in January.
When is the event?
It is always the Saturday after Thanksgiving, and this year that date is November 24, 2018.
Where is the event held?
The event is held at Desert Foothills Park, which is located just SW of the corner of Desert Foothills Parkway and Chandler Blvd. in the Ahwatukee Foothills of Phoenix, Arizona.
What happened to “Crafters Row”?
Marketplace Street Fair is the same thing that we’ve historically referred to as “Crafters Row”. Over the years it’s grown to include all types of vendors – not just those who hand-craft items. In addition to the many traditional crafters, we have all types of franchise consultants (ie. LuLaRoe, Gold Canyon Candles, LipSenseArbonne, etc.) as well as local shops selling from their stocked inventories. It really is a variety street fair, and the fact that it’s literally on Marketplace Street…well, it’s doesn’t get any easier for us to rename it!
How many people do you expect?
Based upon past attendance, we anticipate about 8,000 will attend the event at some time during the day.
What time is the event?
The official time is 12pm to 8pm, however vendors are required to check in by 10:30am. Access to the street for set-up is 8:30am-10:30am. No cars allowed on street after 11am.
Why do we have to be set up so early when the event doesn’t even start until Noon?
Marketplace Street becomes a mall in a matter of two hours. There are approximately 100 cars that have to unload. Because there is a hard street closure by the City of Phoenix beginning at 10:30am, we require that you arrive for unloading no later than 10:30am.
How much are booth spaces this year?
When reserved and paid by October 31, a standard interior 10×10 booth is $110, a corner booth is $135 . From November 1-15, add $25 to submission fee. To be considered after November 15 if space permits, add $50. As of 10/30/18, corner spaces are sold-out, a wait list is forming for corner spaces only.
How big are the spaces?
It is required that you keep all of your booth set-up and products within your assigned 10’ x 10’ space.
What comes with the space?
Only the space and electricity to power lights and a radio if desired. The Festival of Lights does not provide tables, chairs, umbrella shade, or any other amenities – each vendor is responsible for providing their own booth amenities. The Festival of Lights does provide generator operated overhead lighting along the street to insure safety in the early morning and early evening hours of the event. This lighting is sufficient to allow attendees to safely walk the Crafters Row area before sunrise and after sunset. Vendors may not bring their own portable generators.
Do I need a business/tax license from the State of Arizona and/or City of Phoenix to participate as a vendor?
We do not require that you provide us a copy but The Festival of Lights is required to report a list of all vendor business names and phone numbers to the State of Arizona.
To apply for a business tax license:
City of Phoenix – http://phoenix.gov/finance/plt/index.html
State of Arizona – http://www.azdor.gov/
Does The Festival of Lights require photos of our display booth and/or the items we are selling?
No, however you are required to have a neat and clean display.
What is the deadline for applying to be a vendor?
Payment is due at the time of reservation. Applications received after November 1, must include an additional $25 late fee. To be considered after November 15, add $50 if space permits. Spaces are often sold out, there is no guarantee that space will be available.
Are non-profit organizations provided booth space for free?
As a rule, the answer to this question is no.
Can we purchase more than one booth?
Yes you may, but there is no price break to do so.
Can we share a booth?
Yes you may, the price is the same and you and your partner decide how you want to split the cost. We also have a list of vendors that would like to share a booth, so email email@example.com if you would like to see if there is anyone interested at that time.
How will I know what booth space I am assigned?
Approximately one week before the event you will be emailed your booth space number. When you arrive to set up your booth you will be given directions to the space.
Can I request a specific booth space?
No, however, if you want to be located next to a specific vendor, such a request will be honored if possible.
Will there be specific instructions given to vendors on how they will access their booth space to set-up and tear down their booth?
Yes, along with your booth number a map will be sent to you showing your booth space location.
Do we have to stay for the entire event?
You may not tear down while the event is still going on (12pm-8pm). No cars will be allowed into the vendor area until after 8pm.
Is there an assigned parking area for vendors?
No, vendors need to park in the same public area as attendees. You are there early in the day to setup and chances are you’ll get a pretty good spot in the dirt lot.
Is there Handicap Accessibility parking?
Yes, we have a limited number of handicap spaces available on the south end of the street near Desert Foothills Pkwy. We encourage you to leave those spaces for the attendees of the event and park in the dirt lot near the Chandler Blvd. intersection.
Are you a juried event?
No, however we do screen what is sold and typically do not allow duplication of items, meaning if you are selling an item that another vendor is already registered to sell we will ask that you do not sell that particular item in your booth. There will be no offensive or sexually explicit items allowed (this is a family oriented event attended by a large number of children). We also closely screen novelty items.
Why do you limit jewelry vendors?
Jewelry seems to be a very popular craft and in order to make this event enjoyable for both the shoppers and the vendors, we limit the number of jewelry booths. Shoppers don’t want to be inundated with nothing but jewelry booths and the jewelry vendors don’t need excessive competition. If there is too much jewelry to choose from, shoppers have a hard time making a decision and end up not buying anything from anyone. Jewelry spots in this event are usually filled up in September.
Will I be allowed to sell food?
You can sell packaged food that is intended to be taken home. This can be in a basket, or stand alone. You will be required to have a “temporary food service establishment” permit which can be obtained at the Maricopa County website.
What do we do if it rains?
You may get wet. You may melt. Bring an umbrella. Unless The Festival of Lights cancels the event due to completely unbearable conditions, the event will go on rain or shine. Booth fees are non-refundable.
What if I have a question that is not addressed on this FAQ sheet?
Submit your question via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.