New Poll: Majority of Americans Plan to Attend a Community Event This Holiday Season

(December 7, 2017)

Most popular events include holiday light displays and holiday parades or festivals 

Ashburn, Va. (Dec. 7, 2017) — The holidays bring people together, typically at events held by local park and rec agencies. A recent poll conducted by the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) found that 4 in 5 Americans plan to attend some type of special community event — such as a holiday light display, holiday parade or festival — this holiday season.

Of those surveyed, parents (91 percent) are significantly more likely than non-parents (70 percent), and Americans overall (79 percent), to attend any winter or holiday-themed events. The most popular events this holiday season are holiday light displays (40 percent), holiday parades or festivals (32 percent) and New Year’s Eve fireworks displays and celebrations (31 percent). Other popular events include holiday religious ceremonies, craft or food markets, Christmas tree or menorah lightings, local charity events, cultural festivals, winter sporting events and holiday-themed races or walkathons.    

“As communities everywhere gather to celebrate the season, it’s important to recognize the social and economic benefits holiday events provide,” said Barbara Tulipane, NRPA president and CEO. “These celebrations are unique, as they strengthen communities and bring people together, no matter their race, religion or background.”  

Many community events held during the holiday season are organized by local park and rec agencies. These events, which are typically free, provide opportunities for people of all ages and abilities to gather with friends and family, and celebrate the holiday season. Anyone interested in attending a community-sponsored holiday event should contact their local park and rec agency.   

This poll is part of NRPA’s Park Pulse, a continuing series of monthly surveys that gauge the public’s opinion on topics relating to parks and recreation. To explore previous Park Pulse survey results, visit   

To view the interactive charts with the survey results, click here.

To view the full-size infographic, click here.

To learn more about NRPA, visit   


About the National Recreation and Park Association
The National Recreation and Park Association is a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to ensuring that all Americans have access to parks and recreation for health, conservation and social equity. Through its network of 60,000 recreation and park professionals and advocates, NRPA encourages the promotion of healthy and active lifestyles, conservation initiatives and equitable access to parks and public space. For more information, visit For digital access to NRPA’s flagship publication, Parks & Recreation, visit