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Metro Newsroom

City to Celebrate Holiday Season With Light Up Louisville

Friday November 2, 2007

A record number of lights; donations encouraged for Toys for Tots

Mayor Jerry Abramson announced today that the city’s biggest holiday tradition will be brighter – and greener -- than ever this year. “Light Up Louisville,” set for Nov. 23, features nearly two million twinkling lights – more than ever before and will be one of the city’s most environmentally friendly events. “Light Up” displays will be shown nightly throughout the holiday season.

“We’ve had a remarkable response from our corporate partners this year,” said Abramson. “Their commitments have helped us prepare the largest and most dazzling holiday display in Louisville – one that our citizens can enjoy in a family-friendly atmosphere beginning the day after Thanksgiving.”

Light Up Louisville
GE Consumer & Industrial, Louisville Gas and Electric Co. and The Geek Squad 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 Sixth and Jefferson streets.

"GE Consumer & Industrial is proud to be return as a sponsor of Light Up Louisville this year,” said Jim Campbell, President and CEO of GE Consumer and Industrial. “It's our holiday gift to the city, including the thousands of employees and retirees who call Louisville home."

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.

“Giving back to the communities we serve is important for us and our employees, and sponsoring Light Up Louisville for a fourth year is an extension of that commitment,” said Victor A. Staffieri, chairman, CEO and president of E.ON U.S., parent company of Louisville Gas and Electric Company. "We also want to thank the city for allowing LG&E to make this year's event greener than ever by off-setting the carbon emissions produced by the lights with Green Energy Tags."

Louisville will be the first Kentucky city to host an event in which the carbon emissions are offset through Green Energy Tags from Louisville Gas and Electric Company. The tags support the operation and growth renewable energy.

“Geek Squad is proud to once again be a part of Light up Louisville,” said Wes Snyder, the mayor of Geek Squad City. “On behalf of the residents of Geek Squad City, and the over 10,000 Geek Squad Agents worldwide, we look forward to celebrating the holidays and help kick off this amazing event.”

Light Up to feature food, crafts, music and holiday pubs
Light Up festivities begin at 3 p.m., when food, beverage and craft booths open. This year, Budweiser will sponsor two Holiday Pubs, with a portion of all sales donated to Brightside.

The Winter Wonderland Holiday Parade presented by Wendy’s begins at 4 p.m. and features approximately 80 entrants, including entertainers, bands, carolers, children’s groups and civic groups.

"We are very excited to partner the Wendy's brand with such a wonderful family-oriented event as Light Up Louisville", said Mary Gardner, Marketing Manager for Wendy’s. “The Winter Wonderland Holiday Parade always has outstanding floats and performers for kids of all ages to enjoy.”

For the first time, a “Wendy’s Frosty Award” winner will be chosen from among the parade units. Units will be judged in the staging area shortly before the parade starts. The winner will be announced by the mayor just before the city tree is illuminated. The parade will begin at 8th and Jefferson, progress east on Jefferson to 4th Street, then turn south on 4th Street to travel through Fourth Street Live.

This year, Light Up Louisville features two entertainment stages which will open at

5 p.m. Metro Hall will be converted to Santa’s Workshop, where kids can put together one of 1,600 wood craft kits donated by Home Depot, as well as take home one of their signature orange aprons. Parents and children can enjoy this fun activity together.

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.

Light Up Louisville goes “green” for holidays
Light Up Louisville’s centerpiece will be a 40-foot electronic tree. Nearly all of the lights used in Light Up Louisville will be switched to LED (light-emitting diode) lights, which reduces the electrical cost. LED lights are more durable, longer lasting and use less electricity. LEDs will be used on the 30-plus trees in Jefferson Square Park. LG&E estimated the approximate cost of illuminating the display lights throughout the season and donated the equivalent amount in Green Energy Tags to offset the lights’ carbon emissions.

Light Up Louisville will incorporate dozens of displays from the former Winterfest celebration, a single-weekend event at Iroquois Park. The lights from that event will be moved downtown so more people can enjoy them at a central location 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, the trees will be planted in Waterfront Park.

LG&E is sponsoring recycling bins next to every garbage receptacle at Light Up Louisville.

Inside Metro Hall, a “Holidays Around the World” display will feature 20 trees 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. The Louisville Downtown Management District and the Kentucky Derby Festival are the presenting sponsors for Holidays Around the World.

Members of the U.S. Marine Corps will once again be stationed at the base of the tree during Light Up Louisville to accept donations of new and unwrapped toys for Toys for Tots. Attendees are encouraged to bring a wrapped toy donation.

“Our community has shown compassion and caring time and time again through this wonderful organization,” said Abramson. “We hope people will make sure to bring an extra toy or two for the Toys for Tots campaign so children around our community will have a joyous holiday.”

‘Lou-minations’ light show and holiday displays 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 in Jefferson Square Park. “Music, Magic & Lou-minations: A Fantasy in Lights” is a 14-minute animated light display synchronized to music incorporating the city’s electronic tree. For the first time, all the trees inside the park will also be lit and incorporated into the presentation, creating an entire block of entertainment. And there will be dozens of new holiday displays added to the surrounding grounds of Metro Hall.

“Our light show and added displays extends the magic of Light Up Louisville through the whole season,” the mayor said. “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.”

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


2007 Light Up Louisville sponsorship partners include:

Presenting sponsors:

GE Consumer & Industrial, Louisville Gas & Electric Company and Geek Squad City

Winter Wonderland Parade sponsor:


Santa’s Workshop sponsors:

AAA Kentucky, Caldwell Tanks, Inc.

(Special thanks to Home Depot and The Event Company)

Holidays Around the World:

Louisville Downtown Management District, Kentucky Derby Festival

Budweiser Holiday Pubs:

Contributing sponsors – Fourth Street Live, The British Pub

Special thanks to Aegon, Wallitsch Garden Center and La Caliente Radio

Media partners:

Insight Communications, Lite 106.9 WVEZ, 107.7 SFR, New Country 103.9 and 103.1 WRKA, MetroTV, Louisville Defender, Al Dia en America, Kentuckiana’s Family Savings Magazine, and AT&T "The Real Yellow Pages."

Light Up Louisville Charity:

Toys for Tots 

2007 Schedule – 26th Annual Light Up Louisville

3 p.m. Light Up Louisville festivities open

  • U.S. Marines on duty at the electronic tree in Jefferson Square to accept gifts for “Toys for Tots”
  • All food and craft booths open (Jefferson St. and Jefferson Square)
  • Budweiser Holiday Pubs open (Metro Hall lawn and Sixth St. between Jefferson and Liberty)
  • Holidays Around the World tree display (Metro Hall, 527 W. Jefferson St.)

4 p.m. Winter Wonderland Holiday Parade

  • Parade starts at Eighth and Jefferson streets and goes eastward to Santa Claus Lane (Jefferson St.) and turns right on Fourth Street going south to 4th Street Live! The parade goes through 4th Street Live and ends at Muhammad Ali and Sixth Street.
  • Approximately 80 units, featuring local bands, dance groups, holiday-themed units, youth and civic groups

5-7 p.m. Santa’s Workshop of free children’s activities opens (Metro Hall)

5:30 p.m. Entertainment begins (main stage at Metro Hall)

  • Local choirs and vocal groups
  • Male High School Chorus

5:30 p.m. Entertainment begins (second stage at Sixth and Liberty Streets)

  • Local church choirs

6:50 p.m. Mayor Jerry Abramson’s welcome

7 p.m. Santa Claus arrives


7:30-10 p.m. Entertainment, food, crafts and holiday pub continue

All events are FREE except for purchases from food and craft vendors. Everyone is encouraged to bring a toy donation for the United States Marines Toys for Tots. Marines will be stationed at the Jefferson Square Tree to accept donations.