Downtown Indy Inc.'s Circle of Lights® presented by IBEW 481 is Indy's most time-honored holiday tradition. In 2020, the event is going to look and feel a little different than the past 57 years due to precautions being taken to protect against COVID-19.
This year, the Circle of Lights event that traditionally fills Monument Circle and surrounding Downtown streets with 100,000 spectators on the Friday evening after Thanksgiving will be a special made-for-TV only event. Instead of congregating Downtown, the show will be seen exclusively on WTHR Channel 13 on Friday, Nov. 27 at 7 p.m.
Musical acts chosen from the Tom Wood Talent Search (virtual auditions ended Oct. 19) for the television event will still create a festive holiday spirit and Santa will help flip the switch to illuminate Monument Circle, marking the kick-off to the holiday season. All spectators will enjoy the show from the comfort of their homes.
Without hesitation, the electrical workers and volunteers of IBEW 481 will continue the tradition of decorating the Soldiers & Sailors Monument with 52 garland strands with 4,784 LED colored lights, strung from the top of the Monument to its base. The Monument will continue to be surrounded by 26 larger-than-life toy soldiers and sailors and 26 peppermint sticks. The lights on Monument Circle will be illuminated Friday night, Nov. 27. Additionally, beginning Saturday, Nov. 28, a special nightly Shining A Light holiday presentation at 6:30, 8 and 10 p.m. will complement the lights on Monument Circle.
“The Electrical Workers of IBEW 481 are thrilled to be the presenting partner of Circle of Lights again,” said Jeff Wheeler, IBEW 481 business manager. “We know that 2020 is different in so many ways. But we wanted to make sure that the Circle of Lights would shine throughout the holiday season, no matter what. Hundreds of men and women of IBEW 481 volunteer their time year after year for this great tradition and we wouldn’t have it any other way.”
Again this year, a lucky child will be chosen from the IPL Coloring Contest to help Santa illuminate the night by “flipping the switch” during the Circle of Lights television show on WTHR.
“The show must, and will, go on,” said Downtown Indy, Inc. president Sherry Seiwert. “We are so thankful for IBEW 481 and its dedication, care and craftsmanship shared year after year to install the lights and present the Circle of Lights for the entire community to enjoy. The TV event, in place of the live celebration, will still be wonderful. We look forward to uniting back Downtown this holiday season in small and measured ways.”
Sightseers will be able to take in this brilliant spectacle throughout the holiday season, lit through early January. Travelocity named the Circle of Lights® one of the top five “must-see Christmas trees” in the nation. USA Today also listed the Circle of Lights® as one the “10 Best Holiday Attractions.”