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Metro Newsroom

Light Up Louisville Returns Nov. 25

Thursday November 10, 2011

Holiday tradition marks its 31st year

Continuing a tradition of more than three decades, thousands of residents will gather downtown the day after Thanksgiving to welcome Santa Claus and see the city glow at Light Up Louisville.

“Festivals and events bring people together and help define a city, and there’s no better family event than Light Up Louisville,” Mayor Greg Fischer said. “The generous support of our local corporate sponsors allows us to continue offering this great free event.”

On Friday, Nov. 25, Light Up Louisville will feature thousands of twinkling lights, fireworks, entertainment, food, crafts, a parade and children’s activities on the grounds surrounding Metro Hall at the corner of Sixth and Jefferson streets – renamed Santa Claus Lane for the day.

New this year is a free run/walk event – the Healthy Hometown “Light Up 5K.” The event begins at 3 p.m. and starts and ends on Jefferson St. in the heart of Light Up Louisville. The first 1,000 participants will receive a complimentary T-shirt.

“We are very pleased to host the free run/walk,” said Dr. Nesbitt, director of the Department for Public Health and Wellness. “Events such as this are a great way to improve our health by getting up and moving .We invite everyone to join us the day after Thanksgiving and burn off some of those holiday calories.”

Light Up Louisville is presented by Louisville Gas and Electric Company and GE Appliances and Lighting.

“We believe the key to being a good corporate citizen is giving back to the communities we serve and we’re pleased to continue our support for Light Up Louisville,” said Victor A. Staffieri, chairman, CEO and president of LG&E and KU Energy LLC. "As an eight-year sponsor, we’ve seen Light Up Louisville get better and better, and we’re proud to continue to help bring this wonderful free event to the community.”

“We are proud to continue our support of Light Up Louisville again this year. It is a wonderful holiday tradition that our employees and their families can enjoy along with the rest of Louisville," said Jim Campbell, president and CEO of GE Appliances & Lighting.

In addition to the 5K run/walk, other Light Up festivities begin at 3 p.m., with food booths, the Budweiser Pubs, and craft booths open along with an entertainment stage featuring Christmas music by local groups and choirs.

The annual Winter Wonderland Holiday Parade, an evening parade of lights, begins at 6 p.m. Parade units will be decorated in festive lights and will include bands, carolers, car clubs, floats, children’s groups and civic organizations.

Santa Claus – fresh from his appearance the previous day in New York City – is expected to arrive at 8:30 p.m. Santa will join the mayor and representatives of LG&E and GE to insert the magic plug to turn on thousands of lights on buildings and trees of all sizes including the official “Light Up Louisville” tree in Jefferson Square Park. The tree, a 45-foot fir, was donated by Cathy and Tom Young of Louisville, in memory of Cathy’s mother, Doris Underwood whose family brought the tree as a seedling from Germany. The Young’s donated a similar tree to the city for Light Up Louisville in 2008.

After the lights, children can have their photos taken with Santa from the entertainment stage in front of Metro Hall for $5 each.

Sponsored by Bank of America and supported by Caldwell Tanks, Metro Hall will also feature Santa’s Workshop, where families and children will be able to assemble a free holiday toy and have an opportunity to write letters to U.S. troops serving overseas. In addition, outside of Metro Hall, families will be able to sign a large community card for military men and women serving overseas.

Toys for Tots
Members of the U.S. Marine Corps will again be stationed at Light Up Louisville to accept donations of new toys for Toys for Tots. Attendees are encouraged to bring an unwrapped toy to donate.

Holiday Trees: Neighborhood Proud
Metro Hall will be home to “Holiday Trees: Neighborhood Proud.” This display will feature trees decorated by children from the 12 Metro Parks Community Centers and nearby neighborhoods.

Spirit of Jefferson Cruises
The Spirit of Jefferson is offering two “Light Up Louisville” cruises. New this year, a pre-Light Up cruise will board at 2:30 p.m. and cruise from 3 to 4:30 p.m. The popular Light Up cruise is back. Boarding time is at 9 p.m. with the cruise from 9:30 -11 p.m. Both cruises are $12 per person. Call 502-574-2992 or visit for more information.

Holiday Animal Adoptions
You can take steps to add a new member of the family at this year’s Light Up Louisville. Louisville Metro Animal Services will have several adoptable pets and photos of additional available dogs and cats at their Light Up Louisville booth. Individuals who make plans to adopt a pet at Light Up will qualify for a discount off the normal adoption fee.

In addition to presenting sponsors, LG&E and GE, additional support is provided by Bank of America, Budweiser, Caldwell Tanks, Mayor’s Healthy Hometown Movement, The Event Company, Walmart – New Albany and Waste Management. Media sponsors include Lite 106.9, 107.7 SFR, New Country Q103.1, Insight, Louisville Public Media and MetroTV. Special thanks to The Kroger Company, Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau, Heine Brothers Coffee, Bambeanos, Sol Aztecas, Dish on Market and Belle of Louisville.

For more information about Light Up Louisville, call MetroCall 311 or visit