Tucson, Ariz. (Dec. 4, 2019) –Tucson Electric Power (TEP) will once again be the title sponsor of the Winterhaven Festival of Lights, which this year celebrates 70 years of delighting the community with its elaborate holiday light displays.

On Friday, Dec. 6, TEP crews will help string lights atop the tallest trees in Winterhaven in preparation for the festival, which runs from Dec. 14-29 from 6-10 p.m. nightly. Most of the 265 homeowners in this historic neighborhood in midtown Tucson light and decorate their homes with traditional or contemporary holiday light displays.

“The festival would not be possible without the support of TEP,” said Mariel Hall, Chairperson of Winterhaven Public Events, the nonprofit group that organizes the festival. “We are so appreciative of their financial support and donation of LED lights, as well as the work crews who help decorate our neighborhood. The teamwork between us is just phenomenal.”

As title sponsor for the past three years, TEP provides funding, signage and hundreds of strings of LED lights to support the annual festival, which is among the longest-running festivals of its kind in the country and attracts more than 100,000 visitors. TEP contributes $40,000 annually to the nonprofit organization operating the festival to help defray operational costs for security, traffic control, portable restrooms and trash removal.

“The Festival of Lights has been a cherished holiday tradition for millions of visitors over the past seven decades,” said TEP President and Chief Executive Officer David G. Hutchens. “TEP is proud to partner with the residents of Winterhaven to give the gift of light to the community during the holidays.”

On Dec. 14, the festival’s opening night, TEP employee volunteers will collect cash and food contributions from visitors to donate to the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona. Those who donate non-perishable food will receive a lighted bracelet from TEP, while supplies last.

In 2018, more than $27,000 and 56,000 pounds of food were donated to the food bank during the Festival of Lights. “The number one reason we have the festival is to help the Community Food Bank,” Hall said. “Our event is one of their major food drives.”

TEP’s Energy Efficiency team also will have a booth at Winterhaven Thursdays through Saturdays from 6-10 p.m. Visitors can receive free LED bulbs and flashlights, while supplies last, as well as energy-saving tips and information about TEP’s energy efficiency rebate programs.

TEP provides safe, reliable and affordable electric service to 425,000 customers in Southern Arizona. For more information, visit tep.com. TEP and its parent company, UNS Energy, are subsidiaries of Fortis Inc., which owns utilities that serve more than 3 million customers across Canada and in the United States and the Caribbean. To learn more, visit fortisinc.com.

For more information about the Winterhaven Festival, visit winterhavenfestival.org.


EDITORS NOTE:  Reporters from news organizations are invited to cover TEP’s stringing of the lights in Winterhaven on Friday, Dec. 6. Reporters will have the opportunity to go up into the bucket on a truck for an aerial view of the neighborhood, but will be required to sign a liability release form. To confirm or arrange your coverage, please contact Sherri Cadeaux at scadeaux@tep.com or call 884-3923 (office) or 780-3261 (cell).