The Highlands will be lit up for Bardstown Road Aglow. | Courtesy of Bardstown Road Aglow

The Highlands generally is a busy place on a Saturday night, but add in holiday-inspired festivities like the 33rd annual Bardstown Road Aglow, and you have yourself a fun and lively community event. In fact, last year alone, more than 60,000 people took part.

This year’s iteration will be held Saturday, Dec. 1, from about 5 to 10 p.m. Bardstown Road Aglow includes retail and restaurant discounts, pictures with Santa, caroling, Christmas lights and even bourbon.

Park Community Credit Union’s Polar Palooza will once again be located on the corner of Eastern Parkway and Bardstown Road, and here you’ll find children’s activities, selfies with Santa, music, face painting and much more. And the big tree lighting will be held further down the street in the parking lot of Wendy’s where the spruce is located. Wendy’s will be offering free hot chocolate and coffee to keep everyone warm and alert for the 5:30 p.m. ceremony.

Get these Maker’s Mark mugs Saturday. | Courtesy of Maker’s Mark

People also can grab commemorative Maker’s Mark mugs at participating restaurant and bar locations, which come with a cocktail, of course.

Proceeds from the purchase of the mugs will go to Gilda’s Club Louisville, and you can pick them up at O’Shea’s, Uptown Cafe, Impellizzeri’s Pizza, Big Bar, Highland Morning, Highlands Tap Room, La Chasse, Nirvana and Outlook Inn, among others.

Finally, a team of media and Bardstown Road Aglow staff will be exploring every square inch of the festivities to determine which businesses have the best holiday lights. Categories include Business Appropriate and the Griswold Prize.

Bardstown Road Aglow is free and open to everyone. It is organized annually by the Highland Commerce Guild.

Sara Havens is the Culture Editor at Insider Louisville. She's known around town as the Bar Belle and updates her blog (barbelleblog.com) daily. She's a former editor of LEO Weekly and has written for Playboy and The Alcohol Professor. Havens is the author of two books: "The Bar Belle" and "The Bar Belle Vol. 2."


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