City announces 2020 Light Up Louisville plans designed to keep people safe, avoid spread of COVID-19

November 17, 2020

Citing dangers posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Louisville Metro Government today announced adjusted plans for the city’s annual Light Up Louisville kickoff to the holidays.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, “large in-person gatherings where it is difficult for individuals to remain spaced at least 6 feet apart and attendees travel from outside the local area” pose the highest COVID-19 risk to attendees and staff. And with Louisville maintaining a red alert status for COVID-19, the traditional gathering in downtown Louisville is not appropriate, city leaders said.

“In a normal year, bringing thousands of people to celebrate this annual kickoff of the holiday season is a wonderful thing,” said Mayor Greg Fischer. “But this is not a normal year, and at a time when we see the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths rising steadily, our usual celebration is simply not safe. I am pleased, though, to announce alternative plans that spread the festivities around our community.”

Here are the details of Light Up Louisville 2020, which will again be powered by longtime sponsor LG&E, along with 106.9 Play, AT&T and other sponsors:

Holiday lights will go up at Metro Hall and City Hall, and a brightly lit Christmas tree will be set up on the grounds of Metro Hall. The light display, set up largely by Axxis Inc., will include a rainbow of colors to celebrate Christmas, Kwanza, and Hanukah, reflecting the diversity of the community.  Holiday-themed gobos will also be displayed on Metro Hall. The Mayor is also encouraging residents and businesses to put up their own rainbow of colors at their homes and workplaces. 

Here Comes Santa Claus! Instead of having people come downtown for the annual Light Up countdown and an appearance by Santa, the city is sending Santa out into the community. In partnership with 106.9 Play FM and Neil Huffman Subaru, as well as LG&E and AT&T, Santa and his caravan will travel through approximately 20 neighborhoods, selected through nominations from area residents, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Nov. 27-28 and Dec. 5, 12 and 19. Christmas music will be playing, and a large mobile video screen will play highlights from previous Light Up Louisville events as Santa’s caravan drives through the selected neighborhoods. Follow this link to nominate your neighborhood for a Santa stop.

The Mayor thanked event sponsors for their support and their flexibility in helping provide the alternative Light Up Louisville.

LG&E and KU President and CEO Paul W. Thompson: “While we can’t come together as we always have, this creative approach to our holiday festivities enables us to celebrate safely while still experiencing the joy that comes with the season. We’re proud to be a part of it and to once again help our community shine brightly this holiday season.”

AT&T Kentucky President Hood Harris: “AT&T is proud to support Light Up Louisville and help bring this family friendly event to our community. It’s encouraging to turn our attention to the holiday season and activities that unite our community, and we’re thrilled to see the tradition of Light Up Louisville continue.”  

106.9 Play Operations Manager Cagle: “We are excited to join forces with Light Up Louisville and the North Pole to bring Santa Claus to Louisville. We have talked to Santa, and he is very excited to see the children in Kentuckiana this Christmas season.”

Mayor Fischer urges people to share their photos from this alternative Light Up Louisville on social media using the hashtag #AroundLou. For more information, go to:

In addition, the Mayor is reminding residents of these other holiday traditions in the city:

Toys for Tots

Noting that the holidays are a perfect time for our compassionate city to spread even more compassion, Mayor Fischer is asking residents to get involved in this year’s community-wide Toys for Tots drive.

Since 1947, Marines have collected toys for families in need – and they aren’t letting the pandemic stop them this year. Residents are asked to purchase toys for children ages 10-13 and 14-17 because the Marines have a surplus of toys for younger children.

From 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 4, there will be a special drive-thru lane in front of Metro Hall for an easy drop-off. Marines and staff will be masked and wearing gloves to help facilitate the drop off. Other drop-off points include Paristown Point, Mission BBQ and the PRP Fire Department stations.

Winter Woods Spectacular

From the producers of the popular Jack O’Lantern Spectacular, Winter Woods Spectacular will debut in Iroquois Park from Nov. 27– Jan. 2. Winter Woods is a half mile drive of lighting and artistry that will explore and celebrate the holiday season. Proceeds will benefit the Louisville Parks Foundation. Visit for more information.

Fête de Noël

Paristown’s Fête de Noël is back this year, featuring Louisville’s only authentic outdoor ice-skating rink. Residents are invited to skate, shop, eat and drink in the heart of Paristown and enjoy holiday movie nights, karaoke, silent disco on ice, Stoneware & Co. ornament decorating, and much more. Fête de Noël is open Nov. 25th – Jan. 3rd. For more information, visit

Lights Under Louisville

Each year, the Louisville Mega Cavern is transformed into an underground holiday light spectacular for the Christmas season. Enjoy a 30-minute ride through 17 miles of underground passageways. Featuring more than 850 lit characters with over 3 million points of light. Lights Under Louisville is open Nov. 13 – Jan. 3. For more information, visit

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