Light Up Louisville pairing with new events to continue city’s holiday tradition

November 14, 2019

Mayor Greg Fischer announced today that the city’s largest and most beloved holiday event, Light Up Louisville, returns for the 39th year this month, outside of Metro Hall at Jefferson Square and Sixth Street.

Light Up Louisville, always held the Friday after Thanksgiving, begins at 3 p.m. Children and families are invited to visit the Children’s Workshop at Sixth and Jefferson streets to make holiday crafts, decorate cookies and write letters to Santa, courtesy of AT&T and Home Depot. This year, children can ride in a larger holiday train on Jefferson Street between Sixth and Seventh Street at no cost.

And around 8 p.m., Santa and guests will gather on stage to illuminate the city Christmas tree located in Jefferson Square.

During a press conference today, the Mayor also noted that several new holiday events in the city, including Winter Woods Spectacular at Iroquois Park, Fête de Noël in Paristown, and Moonlight Cruises on the Belle of Louisville and the Mary Miller, along with traditional events like Lights Under Louisville, are helping make Louisville a destination for the holidays.

Light Up Louisville – the city’s official starting point for the holiday season – has become a tradition for residents and their friends and family visiting over the Thanksgiving holiday.

“This annual event brings the community together for an evening full of fun, entertainment and a little bit of magic,” said the Mayor. “Light Up Louisville is the perfect way to usher in the holidays for the entire family and we look forward celebrating with even more events throughout the holiday season.”

Light Up Louisville

As part of the Nov. 29 event, a Holiday Village will be set up at Sixth and Jefferson streets, with crafts, treats and gifts for sale. The Louisville Visitor Center on 4th and Jefferson also will be open, offering giveaways, treats and activities.

The Light Up Louisville stage on the west lawn of Metro Hall will feature live entertainment beginning at 3 p.m. until the start of the annual Lots of Lights parade at 6:30 p.m. Performances include some of Louisville’s most talented groups including DJ Jay Campbell, Louisville Academy of Music, NB Dance Team, Dove School of Arts, Classic Melodies, Bluegrass Blues Brothers, Motown Christmas and Midnight Noon.

The Lots of Lights Parade starts at Fourth and Liberty streets, turns onto Jefferson Street and disperses at Seventh and Jefferson streets. Jesse and MJ from 106.9 Play!, Louisville’s official Christmas radio station, will emcee the parade announcements. Various units including floats, bands, carolers, car clubs, children’s groups and civic organizations will march through downtown and disperse at Seventh and Jefferson streets. Students from AMPED, a free community music program, will headline the stage following the parade.

This year’s Grand Marshal is Miss Kentucky, Jordan Weiter. The parade will end with the arrival of a special guest from the North Pole, Santa Claus.  

The city Christmas tree, a 45-foot Norway Spruce, was donated by the Rogers family from Jeffersontown. The official Light Up moment will light up Downtown Louisville with Zambelli fireworks and thousands of Christmas lights.

Following the Light Up moment, entertainment on the main stage will resume, from 8:30 to 10 p.m., with a performance by Eight Inch Elvis. Children and families are invited to get a free picture with Santa Claus inside Santa’s House on Sixth and Jefferson streets, courtesy of AT&T.

For 39 years, Light Up Louisville has been powered through the support of Louisville’s largest utility company, LG&E.

“Light Up Louisville is a wonderful holiday tradition. We are proud and excited to help bring this free family event to our community,” said Paul W. Thompson, chairman, CEO and president of LG&E and KU Energy. “Light Up Louisville is a memory-maker for everyone, and it is another terrific opportunity to showcase all Louisville has to offer.”

Other sponsors include Louisville Tourism, AT&T, Amazon, Hyatt Regency, Southern Hospitality Concessions, Bob Ray Company, 106.9 Play!, Outfront Media, and WLKY.           

“Louisville has been recognized as one of the best cities for festivals and events in North America. With the return of traditional, longtime holiday favorites, along with the addition of several festive new offerings this year, the city has truly positioned itself as a regional destination for the holidays,” says Karen Williams, President & CEO, Louisville Tourism. “We look forward to welcoming visitors to our city to experience our unique lineup of holiday-themed events, along with our one-of-a-kind attractions, museums and more family-friendly fun.”

Special thanks also to KFC, Costco, Home Depot, Kroger #739, Chick-Fil-A, Lasik Eye Institute, Subway, Budweiser, Visual Presentations, Axxis and Metro Departments Parks and Recreation, Fleet and Facilities, Public Works and LMPD.       

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

Toys for Tots

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

From 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6, there will be a special drive-thru lane in front of Metro Hall for an easy drop-off, as part of a Mayor’s Challenge. This year, the Mayor’s Challenge is being expanded with additional drop-off sites at Paristown, Logan Street Market and Mission BBQ. Marines will be on site to assist.

Winter Woods Spectacular

From the producers of the popular Jack O’Lantern Spectacular, Winter Woods Spectacular will debut in Iroquois Park from Nov. 30 – Dec. 31. 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 inaugural Fête de Noël is a six-week Winter Village, featuring Louisville’s only authentic outdoor ice-skating rink. Residents are invited to skate, shop, eat and drink in the heart of Paristown and experience the return of Louisville’s award-winning Holiday Laser Dome, Stoneware & Co. ornament decorating, holiday family movies and much more. Fête de Noël is open Nov. 27th – Jan. 5th. For more information, visit

Moonlight Cruises

The Belle of Louisville and the Mary Miller will be offering special Light Up Louisville Moonlight Cruises on the evening of Nov. 29. For tickets, 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 more than three million points of light. Lights Under Louisville is open Nov. 15 – Jan. 4. For more information, visit