Light Up Louisville Returns November 28

November 7, 2014

The city’s “Light Up Louisville 40 Nights of Lights” event – the traditional starting point for the holidays – returns for its 34th year with music, fireworks and family activities and a nightly array of lights and happenings along four blocks of 4th Street, from the Galt House to Fourth Street Live.

Light Up Louisville begins the day after Thanksgiving (Friday, Nov. 28), with the arrival of Santa Claus who will help illuminate downtown Louisville, followed by Zambelli fireworks – all centered at a main stage located at 4th and Main.

“Louisville is a city known around the world for our festivals and events and we are always working to make them the best they can be,” Mayor Greg Fischer said. “By continuing to grow and improve Light Up Louisville 40 Nights of Lights, we’re keeping alive the tradition that families have enjoyed for decades and adding new lights, excitement and activity to bring more citizens and visitors downtown to celebrate the season.”

The 40 Nights of Lights will spectacularly illuminate four square blocks downtown and continue nightly through January 4. The four blocks of 4th St. from Main to Muhammad Ali Blvd. will be truly electrifying with thousands of strands of multi-color LED lights that will animate 250 snow flake and fleur de lis fixtures. Over-the-street LED archways will feature lights set to music, along with nearly 40 animated LED light-pole banners.

The downtown lighting will include LED lights synchronized to music in the “Light Up Plaza” at 4th and Jefferson. The 12-minute production will be presented on the half hour from 6 p.m. – 10 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays, and until 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays through Jan. 4.

Again this year, there will be two brightly lit and decorated community Christmas trees – one at the main stage at 4th and Main and a second near 4th and Liberty. Both were donated to the city by Louisville families.

A popular ice skating rink will again be located at Fourth Street Live!, starting Nov. 29. The rink uses a synthetic ice which ensures its availability even if outdoor temperatures go above freezing. The fee for skating is $5 an hour for adults, $3 for children under 13. Daily rates are $10, and a season pass is $40 for all ages. Skates will be available to rent for $2. New this year at Fourth Street Live! is the “Holiday Village” with special decorations and programs on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays during the holidays. Hours are: 11a.m.-8p.m. with 6-6:30p.m. programming on Fri; 10a.m.-8p.m. with 2-2:30p.m. programming on Sat.,  and 10a.m.-7p.m. with 2-2:30pm programming on Sun.

Light Up Louisville is presented by Christmas at the Galt House Hotel, LG&E and Louisville: It’s Possible Here.

“Christmas at the Galt House Hotel is honored to sponsor Light Up Louisville’s 40 Nights of Lights. We’re excited to be creating lifelong holiday memories with our sponsorship,” said Mary Moseley, CEO and president of Christmas at the Galt House Hotel and The Al J Schneider Company. “Light Up Louisville’s 40 Nights of Lights  is a natural fit as we introduce our 5th year of Christmas at the Galt House Hotel.”

“Light Up Louisville has a magic that evokes the festive spirit of the holiday season for the thousands who come to enjoy it each year. We’re proud to be part of an event that puts the city on display and opens it up for families across our entire region to be a part of.” said Victor A. Staffieri, chairman, CEO and president of LG&E and KU.

“Louisville continues to grow its offerings as a regional destination for the holidays. 40 Nights of Lights serves as a great anchor and free event to attend while taking in a holiday concert, ballet, dinner or other traditional attraction for families making holiday memories in the city,” said Karen Williams, President and CEO of the Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau. 

Light Up Louisville activities on Nov. 28 begin at 2 p.m. with the Run, Run Rudolph 5K run/walk, the fourth event of the city’s KentuckyOne Health Four De Lis running series, which starts on 4th near Main. New this year, in addition to the top finisher awards, there will also be a “Best Holiday Running Attire” award in each of the race divisions.  The fee is $35 and participants will receive a long sleeve T-shirt. For more information, visit

"KentuckyOne is on a mission to bring wellness, healing and hope to all Kentuckians," said Alice Bridges, vice president of healthy communities, KentuckyOne Health.  "Our support of these events is just one way we are working to make exercise more fun and accessible.  It has been our pleasure to be part of these great events for the second year. We appreciate Mayor Fischer and Louisville Metro for allowing us to be a partner."

The annual Light Up Louisville Parade, with a theme of “Lots of Lights”, begins at 6:30 p.m. Parade units will be decorated in festive lights and will include bands, carolers, car clubs, floats, children’s groups and civic organizations. The parade route runs along 4th Street from Liberty to Main Street.

Santa Claus is expected to arrive at 8 p.m., joining the mayor to insert the magic plug and turn on thousands of lights on buildings and trees of all sizes including the Light Up Louisville Christmas Tree near the main stage at 4th and Main and the second tree near 4th and Liberty.

Families will have an opportunity to sign a large community card for military men and women serving overseas. The card will be displayed in the Santa’s Workshop located in the Kentucky International Convention Center the evening of Light Up Louisville. 

After the lights and fireworks, children can have their photos taken with Santa for free in the Kentucky International Convention Center.

Fischer urged people to share their Light Up Louisville photos and experiences on social media. The Twitter hashtag is #lightuplou.

Toys for Tots
Light Up Louisville will again accept donations of unwrapped new toys for Toys for Tots. There will be a collection box at the Santa’s Workshop in the 4th Street lobby of the Kentucky International Convention Center.

Spirit of Jefferson Cruises
The Spirit of Jefferson is offering two “Light Up Louisville” cruises on Nov. 28.  A pre-Light Up cruise will board at 4 p.m. and cruise from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. for $10 per person. After the lights and fireworks, the Light Up cruise will board at 9 p.m. and cruise from 9:30 -11:30 p.m. for $15 per person. Visit for information or to book tickets.

Trees at Metro Hall
Louisville Metro Hall will again be decorated and lighted for the holidays outside and inside. Beginning Dec. 1, Metro Hall will feature a colorful display of trees decorated by children from the 12 Metro Parks Community Centers and nearby neighborhoods, weekdays 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.

UofL Game-day lights

The “40 Nights of Lights” will feature a special red/white salute before and after all University of Louisville men’s and women’s basketball games played during the holidays at the KFC Yum Center.

“Lights of Louisville” song performed by “A Lion Named Roar”

A highlight of the live entertainment on the main stage Nov. 28 will be the performance of “Lights of Louisville” a song written just for Light Up Louisville by the popular local band, A Lion Named Roar. Their show will be at about 7:30 p.m.


In addition to presenting sponsors Christmas at the Galt House Hotel, LG&E and Louisville: It’s Possible Here, additional support is provided by Axxis, BB&T, Budweiser, Fifth Third, George Fern Exposition & Event Services, Fourth Street Live!, Humana CareSource, Hyatt Regency, KentuckyOne Health, Kentucky International Convention Center, Louisville Downtown Partnership, and UAW 862/Ford. Media sponsors include Lite 106.9, MetroTV and WDRB-TV. Special thanks to Abco Bramer, Bob Ray Tree Co., Event Co., Hines Management, Outfront Media, Taste of Kentucky, Visual Presentations, and Walmart.

For more information about Light Up Louisville including registration for the Run Run Rudolph 5K, call MetroCall 311 or visit

Light Up Louisville – Friday, Nov. 28, 2 – 10p.m.

40 Nights of Lights continues nightly through Jan. 4
10am – 8 pm    Christmas at the Galt House

12:30 pm          Run, Run Rudolph 5K registration and packet pick up, 4th Market streets

2 pm                 Light Up Louisville opens (stage music, vendor market, pubs)

2-3 pm             Run, Run Rudolph 5K run and walk
4 pm                Main Stage entertainment begins

5-7pm              Santa’s Workshop Children’s area

6:30 – 8 pm     Light Up Louisville Parade, 4th St. from Liberty to Main Stage

8 pm                Santa’s arrival - 4th St. from Liberty to Main Stage

8:10 pm           LIGHT UP! (stage entertainment, vendor market & pubs continue)

8:30 pm           Pictures with Santa – FREE – Santa’s Workshop
9 pm               First nightly light show at “Light Up Plaza,” 4th & Jefferson featuring Zambelli Fireworks
10 pm              4th Street Live! After Party; outdoor Light Up event ends