Thousands of people descended on Downtown Chandler on Saturday evening for the 67th lighting of the city’s tumbleweed “tree” and a Christmas parade.
With the 2022 event mostly rained out, except for the tree lighting being bumped to the next Monday evening, Chandlerites and others seemed extra enthusiastic this time. Dance teams, marching bands and other performers in the parade seemed to garner a new round of applause every 100 yards.
A.J. Chandler Park and its surrounding sidewalks and closed-off streets were filled with people, shoulder-to-shoulder, for the tree lighting. Mayor Kevin Hartke took the microphone and led the group in a countdown toward turning on the lights for the tumbleweed tree.
Hartke listed the vast amount of lights, white paint and fire retardant chemicals used on the tree before it was lit up.