The city of Louisville’s largest and most beloved holiday event, Light Up Louisville, returns for the 38th year in its usual space outside Metro Hall in Jefferson Square.

Light Up Louisville is the official starting point for the holiday season in Louisville and has become a holiday a tradition for many residents and their visiting friends and family. It truly is a day full of excitement, entertainment and community.

“Light Up Louisville is the perfect way for our city to usher in the holidays,” said Mayor Fischer. “After a big Thanksgiving meal the day before, grab your kids and relatives and join us outside for some fresh air, fun and fireworks!”

Family fun

Light Up Louisville, always held the Friday after Thanksgiving, begins at 4 p.m. That’s the time when families are invited to take part in Santa’s Workshop crafts located in decorated chalets on 5th and Jefferson streets. There, children can decorate cookies, write letters to Santa and send holiday cards to our troops, courtesy of Ford/UAW 862.

There will be a vendor village at 6th and Jefferson streets, with holiday crafts, treats and gifts for sale. The Louisville Visitor Center on 4th and Jefferson will be open during Light Up Louisville, offering giveaways, treats and activities.

New this year, is a 15-passenger train children can hop on to ride around the block from 5th and Jefferson to Market free of charge.

Live entertainment

The main Light Up Louisville stage on the west lawn of Metro Hall will feature live entertainment beginning at 4 p.m. until the start of the Lots of Lights parade at 6:30 p.m.  Performances include some of Louisville’s most talented groups such as Six Steps to Heaven, Envy Dance Team and Classic Melodies “Top Note” and Motown Christmas. Stephen Gould will headline the stage before the parade.

The Lots of Lights Parade will start at 4th and Liberty, turn onto Jefferson Street and then disperse at 7th and Jefferson streets. Jesse and MJ from 106.9 Play!, Louisville’s official Christmas radio station, will emcee the parade announcements. The parade will include floats, bands, carolers, car clubs, children’s groups and civic organizations. The parade will end with the arrival of a special guest from the North Pole, Santa Claus.

Around 8 p.m., Mayor Fischer and Santa will gather on stage to illuminate the city Christmas tree located in Jefferson Square. The tree was donated by Christ Church United Methodist. When the official Light Up moment happens, much of downtown Louisville will light up with Zambelli fireworks, lasers and thousands of Christmas lights.

Following the Light Up moment, from 8:30 to 10:00 p.m., entertainment on the main stage will resume with a performance from Eight Inch Elvis. Children and families are invited to get a free picture with Santa Claus inside Santa’s House on 5th and Jefferson streets.

For more than 14 years, Light Up Louisville has been made possible 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.”

“Louisville is known across the world for its unique festivals and events. As the city continues to grow its offerings as a regional destination for the holidays, Light Up Louisville is a great kickoff to the season,” says Karen Williams, President and CEO of Louisville Tourism, silver sponsor of this year’s Light Up Louisville. “This one-of-a-kind, free, family-friendly celebration serves as a great anchor for families to plan a visit around the arts, museums and other local attractions featuring holiday events.”

The holidays are a perfect time to spread a little more compassion. Mayor Fischer asks residents to get involved in this year’s community-wide Toys for Tots drive the following week, Friday, November 30 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. A special drive-thru lane will be set up in front of Metro Hall for an easy drop-off. Marines will be on site to assist.

Light Up Louisville sponsors include: LG&E, Louisville Tourism, Amazon, AT&T, Ford/UAW 862, Hyatt Regency, KFC, MetroPCS, Papa Murphy’s, 106.9 Play!, Louisville Magazine, Outfront Media and WLKY.

Mayor Fischer urges people to share their photos from Light Up Louisville on social media using the hashtag #AroundLou.

For more information, go to:  

Mayors Office of Special Events

Mayors Office of Special Events

Louisville Metro Government (LMG) and the Office of Special Events (OSE) are committed to providing local and visiting events with the highest quality of service and customer care.