Tucson Electric Power is proud to sponsor the Winterhaven Festival of Lights, which has delighted the community with its dazzling holiday lights and displays since 1949.
That’s the year Winterhaven resident and developer C.B. Richards started the festival after viewing a similar light display in Beverly Hills in the 1930s. He purchased the first set of Christmas lights as well as Aleppo pines, which he planted at regular intervals throughout the neighborhood. To provide a power source for the tree lights, he installed electrical connections. And a future partnership was born.
Here are some fun facts about the festival and how TEP supports this magical annual event:
73: Years the midtown neighborhood has brightened the season
100,000: Annual visitors
17: Nights, from December 10-26 every evening for pedestrian visitors from 6-10 p.m.
11,550: Feet of energy-efficient LED holiday lights TEP donated for use at the event. Customers interested in saving energy on their holiday lighting by using LED bulbs can visit our guide on LED lights.
272: Tons of food, along with $171,000 in monetary donations, collected since the festival began taking food donations in 2007 and monetary donations in 2013 to benefit the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona. Our employees volunteer at the event each year. Learn more about our community support.
50: TEP employees show up each year to unpack, untangle and hang the holiday lights at Winterhaven. TEP also deploys about 15 bucket trucks and journeymen linemen to string LED lights from the highest treetops. You can watch a video of that work here. When our linemen aren’t decorating for the holidays, they’re ensuring service reliability by maintaining, repairing and upgrading our grid to keep the lights burning bright in Tucson.
196: Association-owned trees throughout Winterhaven in addition to the trees on residents’ private properties, most of which are decorated with lights. All those tall trees in Winterhaven help keep the homes there cooler during Tucson’s scorching summers. Customers who would like to spruce up their landscaping and add cooling shade to their homes can purchase discounted trees through TEP’s Trees for You program.
85: Number of feet in height for the tallest trees in the neighborhood
$40,000: Direct financial support provided annually by TEP, helping the nonprofit organization that runs the event cover the cost of security, traffic control, and other necessities.
$0: Discount on electric service for neighborhood residents, despite a persistent myth that TEP provides free or reduced-price power for the festival. TEP can only provide service at rates set by our regulators. Even so, many residents have significantly reduced the cost of their seasonal displays by switching from incandescent to LED holiday lights.