Circle of Lights Celebration Begins Holiday Season With a Flash

Downtown Indianapolis now sparkles and shines after Friday’s annual Circle of Lights Celebration. Monument Circle hosted masses of Hoosier spectators, live music, dancing, face painting and even a visit from Santa. The eventful evening was topped off with the lighting of the 4,784 bulb Christmas tree, and fireworks over the Indianapolis skyline.

This Indianapolis event is a holiday tradition that’s presented by The Contractors of Quality Connection and Electrical Workers of IBEW 481. After a busy day of shopping in Indy, visitors gather with family, friends and neighbors to celebrate the kickoff of Holiday Season. This year, 11-year-old Courtney Sackett was chosen to flip the light switch. The Circle of Lights Coloring Contest had more than 3,000 entrants, but this Brownsburg girl’s drawing took home the gold.

The giant Christmas tree that decorates the Soldiers & Sailors Monument drew crowds from all over Indiana. Other festive decorations that adorn Monument Circle include the larger-than-life toy soldiers and sailors, along with 26 gigantic candy canes and 56,700 twinkle tree lights. The tree will remain lit until Christmas, making the Circle a downtown Indianapolis attraction throughout the entire Holiday Season.

The Circle of Lights tradition, and many other popular Circle City events helps to enhance Indianapolis society, community and culture. More than 100,000 people were estimated to be in attendance Friday. Even shoppers poured out of Circle Centre Mall to take a pause from shopping and enjoy the festive celebration.

The flash of lights on Friday evening officially kicked off the 2009 Holiday Season. By the end of the year, the sparkling Christmas spectacle will be visited by countless carolers, vacationers, families and even afternoon Indianapolis business people. Many events, including those listed below, will bring visitors downtown to share the holiday spirit.

Merry Christmas Indianapolis.

Circle of Lights – Friday, Nov. 27 through the New Year
Monument Circle in the heart of downtown Indianapolis
This is the premier holiday magnet for Indianapolis visitors as well as Indy residents and Hoosiers from across Indiana.
A Christmas Carol – Nov. 20 through Jan. 7
The new and magical Disney release
IMAX Theater Downtown, 317.233.4629
Stutz Artists Association Holiday Show – Nov. 20, 5 pm – 9 pm
Some 40 Indianapolis artists present everything from paintings to wearable art and cards
Free! Stutz Artists Association Center, 317.503.6420
Celebration Crossing – Nov. 27 – Dec. 26
Huge holiday fun for Indianapolis kids! Santa makes a big entrance by helicopter to kick off the popular Indianapolis event.
Indiana State Museum, 317.232.1882
Jolly Days Winter Wonderland – Nov. 27 – Jan. 10
Ride the Yule Slide and visit the Winter Wonderland Snow Castle! Don’t miss The Marvelous Land of Oz in the Lilly Theater.
Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, 317.334.3322
Skate with Santa – Dec. 1, 1:30 pm – 3:30 pm
Ring in the holidays on the sparkly ice!
Indiana World Skating Academy, 317.237.5565
It’s a Wonderful Life – Dec. 3, 6:30 pm
The classic holiday tear-jerker teams up with free appetizers, a visit with Santa and a silent auction to benefit Downtown Beautification.
United Artists at the Circle Center, 317.570.5970
Holiday Open House at the IMA – Dec. 3 and 17
Indianapolis music, shopping, refreshments and a gorgeous luminary display complement “Christmas at the Lilly House,” an annual ramble back to the holidays in the 1930s.
Indianapolis Museum of Art, 317.923.1331
Christmas at the Indianapolis Zoo – Dec. 4 – 30
Thousands of trees at the Zoo will be lit up to transform this already-beautiful place into a wonderland. Don’t miss the Christmas Shoppe and the Hilbert Conservatory exhibit in beautiful White River Gardens.
Indianapolis Zoo, 317.630.2001
Holiday One Piece Show – Dec. 4 – Jan. 7
Over 50 active members of the Indianapolis art community present this special once a year event.
Dean Johnson Design, Inc., 317.634.8020
Eiteljorg Museum’s Winter Market – Dec. 5
Enjoy the fine creativity of over 50 Indiana artists, the Southwestern Fare and the music of Cathy Morris and Monica Herzig.
Eiteljorg Museum, 317.636.9378
Indypendent Holiday Art Sale – Dec. 11, 10 am – 9 pm
A vast selection of unique art from $10 to $300 for your holiday gift-giving.
Indianapolis Artsgarden, 317.631.3301
Live Family Christmas at the President’s Home – Dec. 12, 10 am- 3 pm
10th Annual Candlelight Evening on Delaware Street – Dec. 29
Both these spectacular Victorian holiday events take place at the beautiful President Benjamin Harrison Home in downtown Indianapolis. 317.631.1888