More than 100,000 Hoosiers and visitors will gather on Monument Circle the Friday after Thanksgiving to celebrate the lighting of 4,784 lights strung from the Indiana Soldiers and Sailors monument.
The Circle of Lights presented by the Contractors of Quality Connection and Electrical Workers of IBEW 481 kicks off at 6 p.m. Nov. 29 and the lights will come on at about 7:45 p.m.
The celebration will be broadcast live on RTV-6 from 7 to 8 p.m., in addition to the Circle of Lights® Talent Search show, which will air at 7 p.m. Nov. 26 and 28. The winner of the Coloring Contest will be announced Nov. 25 and will be on stage to “flip the switch” on the light display. He or she will also win a College Choice 529 Direct Savings Plan valued at $529, along with four additional finalists. For more information, visit the website at www.indydt.com/COL.cfm.
Other special holiday events include:
• State of Downtown Indy
Indianapolis Downtown, Inc. will host the 2013 State of Downtown Indy address and announcement/reveal of Velocity, a co-created, five-year strategic action plan for Downtown Indianapolis guided and activated by collaborating organizations. The event is from 4 to 6 p.m. Dec. 3 at the Crowne Plaza Union Station Grand Hall. Hear national trends and downtown priorities for the next five years and celebrate IDI’s 20th anniversary.
• It’s a Wonderful Life
Indianapolis Downtown, Inc. and IMAX Theater present the 1946 classic “It’s a Wonderful Life” on Dec. 5, benefiting Downtown Beautification. Participate in a silent auction from 5 to 6:15 p.m. with items and gift certificates to some of the downtown area’s best restaurants, hotels, attractions and more. The screening of “It’s a Wonderful Life” begins at 6:30 p.m. A $6 suggested donation includes movie ticket, parking in the WRSP garage, and all festivities.
• City Sidewalks
For two days, Dec. 13 and 14, Georgia Street will be transformed into a winter wonderland complete with Santa, holiday shopping, local artisans, performances, children’s activities, and more with the City Sidewalks event presented by BMO Harris Bank.
More than 20 local artisans will sell original art, holiday wares, and food and drink in a festive atmosphere. Enjoy free ice skating (skates not included) on Saturday. Visitors can see Santa for free outside the Omni and listen to carolers.
City Sidewalks hours are 5 to 9 p.m. Dec. 13 and noon to 9 p.m. Dec. 14.
A new addition to the event is the Holiday Tree Decorating Contest: Corporate Challenge! A corporate tree may be purchased for $250. Teams can decorate their trees with lights and creative décor Dec. 12 and 13. All trees will be on display during City Sidewalks Dec. 13 and 14 and attendees can vote via Twitter for their favorite tree. The organization with the best tree will win one free rental on Georgia Street, valued at $2,000.
Proceeds raised benefit Pack the Pantries. For more information on the event and the Corporate Challenge, visit the website at www.georgiastreetindy.com or e-mail to email@example.com for a Corporate Challenge Registration Form.
• It’s good to be a Hoosier
Visit Indy’s annual Hoosier Holidays campaign kicks off Nov. 24 and includes up to 50 percent off hotel stays and significant savings on holiday activities throughout the city. Participating hotels include the recently renovated Crowne Plaza at Historic Union Station and the Omni Severin.
Enjoy discounted rates at attractions including the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art and its popular Jingle Rails exhibit, and the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, with its annual Jolly Days festivities. For more information, visit the website at www.visitindy.com.
• Football at Lucas Oil Stadium
Two major football events come to Lucas Oil Stadium over the next month. The IHSAA Boys’ State Football Finals take place Nov. 29 and 30. Last year, 30,000 people attended over the weekend from all around the state. The Big Ten Football Championship Game kicks off Dec. 7 at the stadium. That event draws about 65,000 people in addition to fans who will be downtown to watch from bars, restaurants and tailgates.
Fans can enjoy food, drinks, and merchandise stands at the Meijer Tail Greater Party on Georgia Street at 3 p.m. Dec. 6 and 8 p.m. Dec. 7.
• Pacers, Colts and Ice
The Pacers play 10 home games at Bankers Life Fieldhouse over the next month. The Colts continue a great season with home games at Lucas Oil Stadium Dec. 1 against the Tennessee Titans, Dec. 15 against the Houston Texans, and Dec. 29 against the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Ice, who play their home games this year at Bankers Life Fieldhouse and Pan Am Pavilion, play five home games through Dec. 30.
Other conventions and large events include Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Presents Built to Amaze, Dec. 5 to 8 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse; Performance Racing Industry PRI Show Dec. 12 to 14 at the Indiana Convention Center; Indianapolis Auto Show Dec. 26 through Jan. 1 at the Indiana Convention Center.
Musical and theater performances over the holidays include Duke Energy Yuletide Celebration, Dec. 6 to 23, Hilbert Circle Theatre; Max & Ruby in the Nutcracker Suite, Dec. 8, Old National Centre; Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Dec. 12, Bankers Life Fieldhouse; Scottish Rite Cathedral Annual Winter Concert, Dec. 15, Scottish Rite Cathedral; The Nutcracker, Dec. 20 to 23, Scottish Rite Cathedral; and Straight No Chaser, Dec. 21 to 22, Old National Centre.
For more information on downtown holiday happenings, visit the website at www.indydt.com/holidaymedia.cfm.