Want to get the most out of Circle of Lights? Learn about the history, entertainment and best viewing spots before you arrive.

The Downtown Indy, Inc. Circle of Lights presented by IBEW 481 takes place Friday, Nov. 23, 2018 on Monument Circle from 6 – 8 p.m.

This free public event is made possible by the support of IBEW 481, WTHR, Bank of America, Indianapolis Power & Light Company, Marriott IndyPlace, Lights at the Brickyard, Broadway in Indianapolis, Circle Centre Mall, College Choice 529, Visit Indy and Quaff ON! Brewing Co.

Follow our list below for the five things that you need to know before heading to the kickoff of the holiday season.


The inaugural “Circle of Lights” celebration was held in 1962. For five decades, spectators from across the state have gathered to kick off the holiday season with the annual lighting ceremony, one of Indiana’s most beloved traditions. Each year the Indiana Soldiers and Sailors Monument is decorated with 4,784 LED lights on 52 strands of garland. The Circle is surrounded with 26 larger-than-life toy soldiers and 26 peppermint sticks. More than 100,000 people attend the holiday celebration held the day after Thanksgiving featuring festive entertainers, Santa and the winner of the IPL Coloring Contest who “flips the switch.” The Downtown Indy, Inc. Circle of Lights is possible thanks to the electrical workers of IBEW 481.  


This year, check out the new Quaff ON! Beer Garden located on West Market Street (for everyone 21 and older). Enjoy the celebration with a holiday brew this season. All adults are invited to have a brew in hand to experience the magic of Downtown.  (Little ones, don’t fret! Head to Circle Centre Mall’s third level after the lighting for Cookies and Cocoa with Santa from 8:30 – 9:30 p.m.)


As you choose your place on Monument Circle to see the entertainment, watch the big screens throughout the evening. Use #CircleofLights on social media and look for your photo to appear on the screens.

The South Viewing Plaza is presented by IMS Lights at the Brickyard. The West Viewing Plaza is presented by Marriott IndyPlace. The East Viewing Plaza is presented by Quaff ON! Brewing Co. Additionally, for those needing ADA-accessible seating, please enter the event from West Market Street. Volunteers will help direct. Due to space restrictions, please understand that the seats are only available to guests with special needs.

Get ready for Christmas Carols Karaoke and a festive-filled evening.


Exciting acts will perform on the Bank of America stage during the pre-show from 6 – 7 p.m. and the live, televised show from 7 – 8 p.m. The acts were chosen from hundreds of entertainers. Special guest, Josh Kaufman, host of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra’s IPL Yuletide Celebration will headline the show. Indianapolis-based Expressenz, a World of Dance finalist, will also perform. Local performers include Hearts Ablaze cloggers from Greenfield; soloist Lydia Tremaine from Huntertown; a capella group Impromptu from Indianapolis, soloist McKenna Hall from Shelbyville (along with Broadway in Indianapolis’ Grinch) and One Voice choir from Indianapolis. All entertainers donate their time and talent for the Circle of Lights® show. Learn more about the entertainment line up here.


The “flip of the switch” to light the Monument will take place around 7:55 p.m. The lucky winner chosen from the IPL Coloring Contest, 11-year-old Karis Crane, will “flip the switch” with Santa and Mayor Hogsett. Help with the countdown and have your cameras ready! #CircleofLights

Anna Rather

Anna Rather

Community Engagement Intern