Above / With fond memories of the Little Friend Parade of Lights, note the 2018 event has been canceled and will not be rescheduled this season. Stay tuned for 2019. Meanwhile, look for Santa and his helpers throughout the community.


“Due to the continuous rain forecasted for today and the chance of thunderstorms this evening, Little Friends and the Downtown Naperville  Alliance, under the guidance of the Naperville Police Department and safety management staff, regrettably must cancel tonight’s Little Friends Parade of Lights in downtown Naperville. 

“The safety of participants and spectators is of utmost importance and at this time we feel today’s conditions provide too many risks to those involved.  While we are disappointed that this event cannot go on as planned, we appreciate the support the community has shown Little Friends and we hope we can all gather again next year to ring in the holidays.

“Sadly, we do not have a rain date for this year due to the many components that help create a parade but look forward to seeing you all in celebration at the Little Friends Parade of Lights in 2019!

“Wishing you a safe and happy holiday with those you love.”

—Your friends at Little Friends, Inc., via Katie Wood, Executive Director, Downtown Naperville Alliance

Visit downtown Naperville’s oldest shop for fine clothing for men and women, all decked out for the holidays! Dean’s, located at Main and Jackson, will celebrate its first 60 years in 2019.

Positively Naperville reflects on canceling the Parade of Lights

The Little Friends Parade of Lights also has been a time to showcase ways to support Little Friends via its Holiday Giving Tree like this one now at Busey Bank in Naperville Plaza. For more info, visit www.littlefriendsinc.org.

No one is more disappointed to cancel a parade than the folks who plan it.

Since the last Little Friends Parade of Lights on Dec. 2, 2017, organizers have had high hopes to showcase community spirit under twinkling bright lights in the annual colorful holiday display of carolers, musicians, costumed characters and local businesses in the heart of downtown Naperville.

To date, the Little Friends Parade set for its 17th run at 7PM Sat., Dec. 1, has never been canceled.

Sometimes it’s been cold. Other times it’s been frigid. It’s even been almost spring-like.

But today it’s raining and damp with little hope for change by tonight. So officials from Little Friends and the Naperville Police Department have put their heads together to determine if/when the parade should be kicked off as planned.

Just before 11AM, the parade was canceled.

Anticipating questions when contacted early Saturday morning, Executive Director of the Downtown Naperville Alliance Katie Wood said a decision to cancel would be made by noon. She wants the community to understand all that goes on to put on the parade. The decision to cancel is never made lightly.

Question: Why did they cancel at noon, so early when the weather might improve by show time?

Answer: There are many details to put together a parade – floats, lights, electronics and people. Many of those details begin many hours in advance.

Question: Is there a reschedule date?

Answer: No … And it’s kind of the same reason. There are many details to put together a parade … and no, there is not a reschedule date. In the 17 years the parade has gone on, I don’t believe that they’ve ever had to cancel. 

And Wood is correct. First known as the “Friends of Little Friends Hometown Holidays Parade,” held on the Sunday afternoon of Thanksgiving weekend, the parade has grown into one of the community’s fun holiday events for family and friends aglow under the festive lights in downtown Naperville.

Naperville loves its parades

Earlier this year the Memorial Day Parade was canceled when the temperature in Naperville was soaring and the humidity was breathtaking. Months and months of planning were put aside in the name of public safety. Nonetheless, early morning tributes at all the memorials and cemeteries around town were presented, recognizing the ultimate sacrifices of military service when Memorial Day again was remembered by the Naperville community.

Naperville loves its parades. From the West Suburban Irish St. Patrick’s Parade in March to Memorial Day to neighborhoods of 4th of July Parades to the India Day Parade to the Jaycees Labor Day Parade, the community gathers to recognize the holidays and significant events.

Again, no one is more disappointed when a parade is canceled than all the folks who planned it. The Little Friends Parade of Lights has grown into a wonderful tradition, a gift that brings this community together to share a heartfelt experience at the most wonderful time of the year.

Though the 2018 Little Friends Parade of Lights has been canceled, we have been assured that Santa and all his helpers will still suddenly appear here and there in Naperville. Happy Ho! Ho! Holidays!