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Audrey Bragg, president of the Riverdale Park Business Association (RPBA) and long-time town resident, came up with the original idea for the Festival of Lights. The RPBA sponsored the first Festival, which was held on December 19, 2003. As with this year, the festival featured holiday vendors, visits with Santa Claus, carolers, a bake-off at the Calvert House Inn, and 45 minute trolley tours of Riverdale Park to view holiday lights and local points of interest. 

The starting point for the trolley tour was the Riverdale Bookshop and Coffee Depot. The RPBA hosted the event again in 2004, but when the Riverdale Bookshop and Coffee Depot closed in 2005, the Town of Riverdale Park took over hosting the event at Town Hall. That year, there were no vendors.

In 2006, the town expanded the Festival of Lights to include a heated and well-lit two-day outdoor Holiday Market with the most vendors ever, refreshments, and musicians.

In 2013 the Market shifted across the CSX tracks to the brand-new Town Center Market.


The Riverdale Park Holiday Market gratefully acknowledges the generous support of our 2012 sponsors: