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City Events Newsroom

Light Up Louisville 2008

Monday November 10, 2008

City Welcomes You Home

for the Holidays with Light Up Louisville

Donations encouraged for Toys for Tots

Mayor Jerry Abramson announced today that the city’s beloved holiday tradition will return for its 28th year. “Light Up Louisville,” set for Nov. 28, features a dazzling display of twinkling lights, music, fireworks and free crafts for children and families. The “Light Up” displays will be shown nightly throughout the holiday season.

“Light Up Louisville welcomes our friends and families home for the holidays,” said Abramson. “The generous support of our local corporate sponsors allows us to continue offering this wonderful family-friendly event beginning the day after Thanksgiving.”

GE Consumer & Industrial and Louisville Gas and Electric Co. are the presenting sponsors of the classic holiday event that will include entertainment, food, crafts, a parade and children’s activities on the grounds surrounding Metro Hall at the corner of Sixth and Jefferson streets. The event is free to attend.

"GE has made a strong commitment to going green through our ecomagination initiative, and we are proud to be a part of helping Louisville make the holiday season greener," said Jim Campbell, president and CEO of GE Consumer & Industrial. "It's important for us at GE to give back to the Louisville community, which so many of our employees and retirees call home."

“Giving back to the communities we serve is important for us and our employees, and sponsoring Light Up Louisville for a fifth 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 are pleased that for the second year, the city is allowing LG&E to make the event even greener by off-setting the carbon emissions produced by the lights with Green Energy Tags."

Light Up festivities begin at 3 p.m., when food, beverage and craft booths open. The Winter Wonderland Parade presented by Wendy’s and Wendy’s Wonderful Kids also begins at 3 p.m.

The star attraction will be a live, 45-foot fir tree in Jefferson Square Park. The tree 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.

New this year is “LouWhoVille, located at The Louisville Visitors Center on the corner of Jefferson and 4th streets, featuring free activities and games for children and families. It is a celebration of Louisville attractions by the Louisville Convention and Visitors Bureau with activity such as the Ali Center Giving station where children can make gift bags, the Reindeer Derby, and Louisville Slugger Museum’s Club House low-cost crafts for sale for $5. In addition, these attractions and the Louisville Science Center will have booths outside.

The Winter Wonderland Holiday Parade presented by Wendy’s begins at 3 p.m. and includes 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.”

The “Wendy’s Frosty Award” will be presented to the best overall parade unit. Other awards will be given out in seven categories. Units will be judged as they pass by Metro Hall with winners announced after the parade. 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 and right to end on Muhammad Ali Boulevard near 6th Street.

Santa Claus is expected to arrive at 7 p.m. Santa will join the mayor and representatives of GE and LG&E to insert the magic plug to light the twinkling lights and launch a dazzling holiday fireworks display. A complete schedule is attached.

After the lights and fireworks, children can have their photos taken with Santa in Metro Hall for $5 each (to cover costs).

Metro Hall will be converted to Santa’s Workshop, where families and children will 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 and meet and thank a few soldiers currently serving in Iraq from the Kentucky Army Guard who will be home on leave. The Kentucky Air National Guard will fly the card and letters to the troops on a C-130 cargo plane after Light Up weekend.

Children will also be able to decorate and eat sugar cookies. Baking and decorating assistance will be provided by Chef Nancy Russman and Jefferson Community and Technical College’s culinary program. The Pillsbury Company and GFS donated the dough for the cookies.

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 toys for Toys for Tots. Attendees are encouraged to bring a toy donation.

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

Light Up Louisville will again feature three entertainment stages which start at

4 p.m. with Christmas music by local groups and choirs. A special country music set by J.D. Shelburne will be held after Light Up on the main stage. There will be two Holiday Pubs sponsored by Budweiser.

The Hyatt Regency in downtown Louisville located at 320 West Jefferson Street has a reduced-room rate of $85 for Friday and Saturday of Light Up weekend. Contact the Hyatt by November 20, 1-800-233-1234 or (502) 581-1234.

Light Up Continues to “Go Green”

Almost all of the lights have been converted to LED, which 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. The tags support the operation and growth of renewable energy.

Also, a “Go Green Louisville” Tent has been added with information for residents to make their homes more energy efficient. It will feature Energy Star as well as information from GE and LG&E.

A tree display on the steps outside Metro Hall will feature seven live spruce trees donated by Wallitsch Garden Center. After the holidays, the trees will be planted in local Metro Parks. The 45-foot fir tree will also have new life at the conclusion of Light Up. The tree will be mulched and used at the Louisville Zoo for landscaping needs.

LG&E is again 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 with trees adorned in international trimmings. The trees will remain on display in Metro Hall during regular business hours through the holidays.

‘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 with music playing hourly between 6 and 10 p.m., after Light Up Louisville and continuing through New Year’s Eve. This year’s Lou-minations show will include the outside of the Metro Hall building, and the surrounding lawn.

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


2008 Light Up Louisville sponsorship partners include:

Presenting sponsors:

GE Consumer & Industrial and Louisville Gas & Electric Company

Winter Wonderland Parade sponsor: Wendy's and Wendy's Wonderful Kids, a signature program of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption

Santa’s Workshop sponsors: AAA Kentucky, Caldwell Tanks, Inc.

(Special thanks to The Event Company)

LouWhoVille sponsor: The Louisville Convention and Visitors Bureau

Holiday Pubs: Budweiser; Contributing Sponsor: 4th St. Live

Holiday Cards: Aegon and Bank of America

Special thanks to: AT&T Yellow Pages, Metro Parks, Hyatt Regency and Messer Construction Co.

In-kind partners: Corn Star, FB3, General Mills, GFS, Havana Beverage, Jefferson Community and Technical College, Messer Construction, The Event Company, Wallitsch Garden Center

Holidays Around the World Tree Sponsor: Old National Bank, Park DuValle Community Health Center, Michelin

Media partners: Insight Communications, Lite 106.9 WVEZ, 107.7 SFR, New Country Q103.1, MetroTV, Al Dia en Louisville and The Louisville Defender

Light Up Louisville Charity:

Toys for Tots and Wendy’s Wonderful Kids with Wednesday’s Child


2008 Schedule – 28th Annual Light Up Louisville

3 p.m. Light Up Louisville festivities open

· U.S. Marines on duty at the main tree in Jefferson Square to accept gifts for “Toys for Tots”

· All food and craft booths open (Jefferson St. and Jefferson Square)

· Holiday Pubs open (Metro Hall lawn and Sixth St. between Jefferson and Liberty).

· Holidays Around the World tree display (Metro Hall)

3 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.

· Entrants featuring local bands, dance groups, holiday-themed units, youth and civic groups

3-7 p.m. LouWhoVille

Free activities, games and crafts, and booths by Louisville museums and other attractions. Louisville Visitors Center, corner of 4th and Jefferson streets.

4 p.m. Entertainment begins (Winterfest stage at Jefferson and 5th Street)

· Winterfest Stage, Jefferson and 5th Street, features youth dancers and performers from 4 to 7 p.m.

· Holiday Spirit Stage, on Liberty Street near Armory Place features local church choirs, 4 to 7 p.m.

· Main stage at Metro Hall, features local choirs and vocal groups, 4 to 10 p.m.

4-7 p.m. Santa’s Workshop of free children’s activities opens (Metro Hall)

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

7 p.m. Santa Claus arrives


7:30-10 p.m. Entertainment on main stage, food and craft vendors continue

J.D. Shelburne, country music sensation, is on tour from Nashville

and will perform unplugged “holiday style” set

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