Indy's Favorite Holiday Tradition

For 56 years, thousands of spectators have gathered Downtown at Monument Circle to see the most spectacular holiday display illuminate. Central Indiana’s most beloved tradition is here again.  The Downtown Indy, Inc Circle of Lights® presented by IBEW 481 will take place the day after Thanksgiving, Nov. 23, 2018.

Generations of families are drawn to this beautiful centerpiece each year with 52 garland strands and 4,784 colored LED lights strung from the top of the Monument to its base. Additionally, the Indiana Soldiers and Sailors Monument will be surrounded with 26 larger-than-life toy soldiers and sailors, along with 26 peppermint sticks. 

Central Indiana entertainers selected from statewide auditions will perform on the Bank of America stage alongside Josh Kaufman, while Santa will make his first official appearance of the 2018 season.

The actual lighting occurs at approximately 7:55 p.m.  One lucky child will be chosen from the IPL Coloring Contest to help “flip the switch” with Santa and Mayor Hogsett. To conclude the evening, enjoy the Circle of Lights spectacular Fireworks Finale.

Enjoy the lights with brew in the NEW Quaff On! Beer Garden on West Market Street (21 and older).

Millions of sightseers will 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.”

This free public event is made possible by IBEW 481, WTHR, Indianapolis Power & Light Company, Bank of America, Circle Centre Mall, Lights at the Brickyard, Broadway Across America - Indianapolis, Visit Indy and Marriott IndyPlace.

Note: To access ADA-accessible seating, please enter the event from West Market Street. Volunteers will  be there to direct you to the seating area. Due to space restrictions, these seats are only available to guests with special needs.  



NOTE- the ornaments from 2017 are SOLD OUT.

Performers selected to entertain thousands on the Bank of America stage

Thousands of Indiana residents and visitors will be on hand to see live performances by entertainers chosen to perform in Downtown Indy, Inc.’s Circle of Lights® presented by IBEW 481 on Nov. 23. The free event will take place on Monument Circle.

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.

Indianapolis native Josh Kaufman is the 2014 winner of The Voice andstarred in Broadway’s Pippin in 2014/15. He is this year’s host of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra’s IPL Yuletide Celebration. Additionally, he has performed on NBC’s Today show, The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, at Usher’s 15th Anniversary Celebration of his New Look Foundation and more. His music draws from a range of styles including funk, jazz, pop and rock.

Expressenz Dance Center was founded in 2008 by director/owner Karla Curatolo. Its mission is to enhance the love of dance to all individuals, regardless of ability, while providing quality training, structure and cultivate expression to all who desire excellence in dance. Expressenz was most recently featured on the hit NBC television show World of Dance. Seven dancers will take the stage at the IPL Yuletide Celebration and Circle of Lights.

Hearts Ablaze is a 27-person clogging group ranging in age from 11 – 33 from a Christian studio located in Greenfield/Hancock County, directed by fifth-grade teacher Crystal Corwin-Howard. The group has performed around the Midwest at festivals, shows, street fairs and the Tunes and Tales program in Gatlinburg, Tenn. Hearts Ablaze competes in at least three competitions a year and performed in the 2014 and 2016 Circle of Lights. The girls come from five different school districts.

Lydia Tremaine, age 23, is the reigning Miss Indiana from Huntertown. She has won more than 20 vocal awards and also plays the piano. She won the talent portion of the Miss America competition. She will start at Trine University next fall to study education and minor in music. 

Impromptu is a group of eight A Cappella singers from Indianapolis (and Ball State graduates) that have been together for a year. The group won VoiceJam 2018 and placed second in the Varsity Vocals AcaOpen Midwest Semifinals. They sang in Taiwan at the Vocal Asia Festival. Members of the group work in medical billing, teaching and tech, but all aspire to sing professionally.

McKenna Hall is from Shelbyville and is a junior at Shelbyville High School. She is the dance captain of her show choir, student council president and participates in marching band, quiz league, French club, drama club and musicals.  Hall plays the oboe, English horn, clarinet, ukulele and guitar. She plans to pursue music and aspires to be a musician.

One Voice is an adult community choir that was formed in Indianapolis in October 2017. Members range in age from 18 – 65 and come from all parts of the greater Indianapolis area. Retired IPS music teacher Cindy Harthorn is the musical director, and most in this group are her past students. Many of the members of One Voice are involved in other musical activities, which include singing in a barbershop quartet, performing in local theater productions, directing and singing in church choirs and membership in an international-award-winning A Capella ensemble.  

NEW this year!

Enjoy the lights with brew in the NEW Quaff On! Beer Garden on West Market Street (21 and older).

IPL Coloring Contest finalists announced!

In the spirit of the holiday season, Indianapolis Power and Light Company (IPL) announces the finalists for the IPL Coloring Contest, with the winner chosen to “flip the switch” at the Downtown Indy, Inc. Circle of Lights® presented by IBEW 481.

“We received more than 1,000 entries in the Coloring Contest this year,” said IPL president and CEO Craig Jackson.  “We were thrilled with the creativity and participation of so many children. This is such a special event for the entire community and we’re happy that IPL can be a part of this wonderful holiday celebration.”

The IPL Coloring Contest grand prize winner, Karis Crane from Indianapolis, an 11-year-old sixth-grade student at IPS Center for Inquiry 27, will help to “flip the switch” at this Friday’sCircle of Lights celebration Downtown on Monument Circle. (The actual “flipping of the switch” will take place at approximately 7:55 p.m. Nov. 23.)

Her coloring sheet includes an artistic drawing of the Downtown skyline with a holiday sweater pattern, along with the Circle of Lights and Santa. In addition to appearing on stage with Santa at Circle of Lights, Crane will be awarded a $529 CollegeChoice 529 Direct Savings Plan.

Four additional finalists will each be awarded a CollegeChoice 529 Direct Savings Plans valued at $529. The four finalists are:

  • Rhiannon Cravens, age 10, Trafalgar (46181)
  • Ethan Preyss, age 10, Brownsburg (46112)
  • Hallie Miller, age 11, Carmel (46032)
  • Luke Preyss, age 9, Brownsburg (46112)

The Coloring Contest is presented by Indianapolis Power & Light Company in partnershipwith IBEW 481, CollegeChoice 529, WTHR, IndyStar, Broadway in Indianapolis and Circle Centre Mall.

Thank you to Downtown Indy, Inc.'s Circle of Lights® Event Sponsors

Downtown Indy, Inc
Bank of America
Quaff On
Visit Indy
Circle Centre
Broadway in Indianapolis
College Choice
Indiana War Memorial


Indy Star