Santa, Parade of Lights returning to downtown Missoula

Holidays on Higgins
Posted at 9:10 AM, Nov 29, 2022

MISSOULA - Santa Claus is coming to town!

Santa will arrive in downtown Missoula on Saturday, Dec. 3 at 1 p.m. for the annual Parade of Lights, Holiday Village, and Lighting of the Holiday Tree.

The 20th Annual Parade of Lights will feature stationary floats parked on Higgins, where people can experience the holiday tradition on foot or by car. Higgins Avenue will be open to vehicle traffic up to Spruce Street, where the official street closure will feature lots of fun, a makers’ market, and more.

People are encouraged to park and walk for the events.

Organizers note people can also catch the Parade of Lights from the comfort of the car driving on Higgins up to Spruce Street. The festivities will also be broadcast on MCAT.

The Parade of Lights and Holiday Village will feature bright floats in parking spaces along both sides of Higgins Avenue.

New this year is the Winter Makers Market on North Higgins from Spruce to the Red XXXX’s, hosted and curated by the Missoula Makers Collective. There will be 25 artists on-hand, selling handmade goods from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. on Saturday.

Following a two-year hiatus, downtown businesses will be hosting activities for children at more than 20 locations throughout the day. Some of the events include ornament making at Cranky Sam’s, block printing at Betty’s Divine, and tea-making at Lake Missoula Tea Company.

Visit for a full list of activities.

Santa will arrive on Saturday at 1 p.m. at the Missoula Public Library on a horse-drawn carriage. Santa and Mrs. Claus will be available for “take your own” photos from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m.

Santa will also be taking part in the Parade and Lighting the Holiday Tree at 6 p.m. at the Red XXXXs. Complimentary cocoa and coffee, along with a big community bonfire will be available, thanks to Boy Scout Troop #1960.

The Resort at Paws Up will offer free horse-drawn carriage rides for three consecutive weekends from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. beginning on Dec. 3. The rides start at the Missoula Art Park at Pine and Pattee, and the carriage can hold up to 12 people per ride.

Additionally, the Missoula Downtown Association will host Teddy Bear Tea Parties at First Interstate Bank for three consecutive weekends beginning on Dec. 4. Online registration and payment ($10 per person) is online at

Additional information about all of the holiday happenings in downtown Missoula can be found online at or by contacting the Downtown Missoula Partnership office via phone (406-543-4238) or email at