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Metro Newsroom

‘Bright Lights, Big City’ for Light Up Louisville

Monday November 13, 2006

Light Up Louisville– New sponsors help expand holiday tradition –
– Most lights, biggest tree of any prior Light Up –

Louisville’s family-favorite holiday tradition will be bigger and brighter than ever, Mayor Jerry Abramson said today. “Light Up Louisville” is set for Nov. 24 and will feature more lights and a taller tree than ever seen on the Friday after Thanksgiving in Louisville, along with the debut of a special high-tech light show that will run nightly throughout the holiday season.

“Talk about ‘bright lights, big city’… This year’s Light Up will be a blockbuster start to the season,” Abramson said. “Our sponsors have really come through to help us ensure this year’s Light Up is the most brilliant, most spectacular we’ve had.”

Light Up LouisvilleFor the third year, GE Consumer & Industrial along with Louisville Gas and Electric Company are the presenting sponsors of the classic holiday event that will include entertainment, food, crafts, a parade and a number of children’s activities on the grounds surrounding Metro Hall at the corner of 6th and Jefferson streets.

“Being part of Light Up Louisville is important to us,” said Jim Campbell, president and CEO of GE Consumer & Industrial. “As a company whose first product was the light bulb, sponsoring Light Up Louisville allows us to share our tradition with the people of Louisville during this special holiday season.”

Light Up Louisville has been a holiday tradition for Louisville families since 1981, and is funded primarily through corporate sponsorships. The event is free to attend.

“We are proud to partner with GE to help kick off the holiday season for the third consecutive year,” said Victor Staffieri, chairman, CEO and president of E.ON U.S., parent company of Louisville Gas and Electric Company. “Light Up Louisville is such a great event because you can bring your entire family downtown and get into the holiday spirit. And, this year is especially important to us since we will be planting pine trees in our local parks after the event to help protect our environment for the future.”

Light Up LouisvilleThis year, the computer- and technology-support company Geek Squad signed on as a new supporting sponsor and will help bring special high-tech glitz to Light Up Louisville.

“We may be new to the community, but the residents of Geek Squad City share your enthusiasm for how Light Up Louisville truly lights up everyone’s lives during the holidays,” said Wes Snyder, mayor of Geek Squad City. “We'll do our very best to help make this year's event one of the best ever.”

Light Up to feature food, crafts, music and holiday pub
Light Up festivities begin at 3 p.m., when food, beverage and craft booths open. New this year will be a Charles Dickens-themed Holiday Pub sponsored by Budweiser. A portion of proceeds from the pub will benefit Brightside.

The Winter Wonderland Holiday Parade begins at 4 p.m. and features more than 70 entrants, including entertainers, bands, carolers, children’s groups and veteran groups. The parade will begin at 8th and Jefferson sts., progressing east on Jefferson to 4th St., then turning south on 4th St., and progressing through 4th Street Live!

The main entertainment stage and the children’s crafts workshop (inside Metro Hall) will begin at 5 p.m., and Santa Claus is expected to make his arrival around 7 p.m. Santa will join the mayor and representatives of GE, LG&E and Geek Squad to insert the magic plug to light nearly two million twinkling lights and launch a dazzling holiday fireworks display. A complete schedule is attached.

‘Pride of America’ tree anchors Light Up
Light Up Louisville’s centerpiece will be an illuminated 65-foot Norway spruce. Weighing four tons and climbing 25 feet taller than any previous Light Up tree, the spruce may be moved into place as soon as tomorrow by U.S. Army helicopter airlift.

The tree was donated by Scotty and Debby McCorkle of New Albany, Ind., in honor of those serving past and present in the U.S. military. The Army’s 159th Aviation Battalion HLH, from Fort Eustis, Va., will deploy a Chinook helicopter to relocate the tree as a training exercise. Metro Parks arborists and LG&E crews will assist with the cutting and securing of the tree. And a 50-ton crane donated by ABCO-Bramer will move the tree into place at Jefferson Square.

Dubbed the “Pride of America,” the tree will be topped with a U.S. flag and trimmed in tens of thousands of red, white and blue LED high output/low energy lights provided by Lowe’s Home Improvement Stores.

Members of the U.S. Marine Corps will be stationed at the base of the tree during Light Up Louisville to accept donations of new toys for Toys for Tots.

“We hope the community will join us in helping make someone’s holiday a little brighter,” Abramson said.

‘Lou-minations’ light show extends through Dec. 31
The brilliance of Light Up Louisville will continue through the holiday season with a special high-tech light show hourly between 6 and 10 p.m., after Light Up Louisville and continuing through New Year’s Eve. “Music, Magic & Lou-minations: A Fantasy in Lights” is a 14-minute animated light display synchronized to holiday music and focusing on a 40-foot “electronic” tree.

“Our new light show extends the magic of Light Up Louisville through the whole season,” the mayor said. “You pair it with a carriage ride and dinner at one of our many downtown restaurants and you have the makings for a very special holiday experience.”

Metro Hall ‘green’ with special tree displays
Two new tree displays will bring added holiday spirit to Light Up Louisville and Metro Hall throughout the holiday season.

A tree display on the steps outside Metro Hall will feature live spruce trees donated by Wallitsch Garden Center. After the holidays, LG&E will partner with Metro Parks to plant the trees in area parks, with locations determined by an online poll.

Inside Metro Hall, a “Holidays Around the World” display will feature 12 trees, provided by Sam’s Club, that will be decorated to recognize Louisville’s cultural diversity. Sister Cities of Louisville and several of Louisville’s cultural groups will adorn the trees in international trimmings. One tree will represent Louisville’s sister cities in Argentina, China, Ecuador, England, France, Germany, Ghana and Russia. The international trees will remain on display in Metro Hall during regular business hours through the holidays.

Find out more

2006 Light Up Louisville sponsorship partners include:

Presenting sponsors:

Louisville Gas & Electric Company and GE Consumer & Industrial

Supporting sponsor:

Geek Squad

Other sponsors and in-kind contributors:

AAA, ABCO-Bramer, Aegon, Budweiser, Caldwell Tanks, Dean’s Milk, The Event Company, Kentucky Kingdom, Lowe’s, The Pub, Sam’s Club, Spalding University, Sullivan University, U.S. Army, Wallitsch Garden Center

Media partners:

Cox Radio stations, Lite 106.9 WVEZ, 107.7 SFR, New Country 103.9 and 103.1 WRKA, Louisville Defender, Insight Cable, WAVE-TV, MetroTV