The Festival of Lights Association said the declining sponsorships combined with some one-time costs have put the event into the red and has resulted in a call for donations.

It’s time to take it all down.

Volunteers are needed to help take down some of the sparkling lights from Chandler Boulevard on Saturday, Jan. 4. A group will meet at 9 a.m. and work until about 3 p.m., but volunteers are welcome to work any amount of time they can spare.

“As you can imagine it is a huge job,” said Susan Anderton, a volunteer with Festival of Lights. “The more volunteers we get, the quicker we can remove them and the less we have to pay the professionals the next week to finish up… I think the lights were especially beautiful this year with the return of the clusters, and perhaps this will inspire folks to come out so we can afford to have them again next year.”

Festival of Lights (FOL) hires a company to put the lights up but depends on volunteers to take them down, to save on costs.

Anderton said they encourage volunteers to come with thick gloves and, if possible, a ladder to help with higher lights.

Volunteers will meet again to finish the job on Jan. 11 if they don’t get enough done on Jan. 4, but Anderton said one day is usually enough when enough volunteers pitch in.

Festival of Lights will provide lunch, soda and water for all volunteers as well as plenty of wipes and Band-Aids.

High school-aged kids are allowed to help on the medians while middle-schoolers must be with a parent or guardian at all times. For safety reasons, FOL organizers ask that any young children stay home.

“People can meet their community family, have fun and give back to the community and help us save money so we can continue to offer the lights,” Anderton said. “It’s a fun day to come together as a community and just enjoy being together and doing something for our community.”

There is no RSVP for this event, organizers just want people to show up on Saturday prepared to work.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-7914 or

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