Downtown Indy, Inc. Circle of Lights presented by IBEW 481

Friday, Nov. 27, 2020
WTHR CH. 13
7 p.m.

This year, the Circle of Lights event that traditionally fills Monument Circle with thousands of 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.

Indy's Favorite Holiday Tradition

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.”

Performers selected to entertain TV audience Nov. 27

This year, the Circle of Lights presented by IBEW 481 event is a special made-for-TV only virtual event. Instead of congregating Downtown, the show will be seen exclusively on WTHR Channel 13 on Friday, Nov. 27 at 7 p.m.

Amateur, musical acts chosen from the Tom Wood Talent Search will join local professional entertainers for the television event, which will create a festive holiday spirit. Santa will also help flip the switch to illuminate Monument Circle, marking the kick-off to the holiday season.  

The acts were chosen from scores of online submissions through the Tom Wood Talent Search held in September.  All entertainers donate their time and talent for the Circle of Lights®show.  

Performers include:
Indianapolis native Josh Kaufman was the 2014 winner of The Voice and starred in Broadway’s Pippin in 2014/15. 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. 

Angela Brown, Indianapolis native and Crispus Attucks graduate, has been featured in Oprah Magazine, Essence Magazine, Ebony Magazine, Reader’s Digest and CNN world-wide. Brown has received rave reviews in which CBS News declared “the future of opera has arrived” and New York Times exclaimed “at last an Aida.”

The Best Kept Secret is singer duo Jordan Bridges, age 21 from Fort Wayne, and Samantha (Sam) Voegele, age 22 from Noblesville. Both are seniors at Purdue University. The duo has sung the national anthem for sold out basketball games at Purdue, played gigs at The Tap in West Lafayette and performed with the band Kinnection. The band has provided musical entertainment for Purdue’s Dance Marathon for three years straight. Jordan and Sam will be performing an original song “That Christmas Feeling” during the Circle of Lights.

Meridian Moon was formed in 2020 as a supergroup of Indianapolis-area musicians, many of whom spend their days (and nights) as front-line medical professionals during this challenging pandemic. They are a high-energy group who have performed with acts all around the country with a diverse catalog of hits spanning the 60s to today, from Marvin Gaye and Fleetwood Mac to Maroon 5 and Post Malone. Members are Amber Ordaz (age 28 from Indianapolis)David Ertel (age 30 from. Indianapolis)Thyago Cruz (age 36 from Indianapolis)Zachary Derringer (age 30 from Indianapolis) and Pat Hannon (age 29 from Fishers). 

The Rosettes of Le Rose Dance Academy are from Franklin and consist of dancers age 6 to 19 years old from several different school districts.  Under the direction of Amanda Rose Nixon, Le Rose Dance Academy is in its 26th year and has performed for the Circle of Lights seven times.  The Rosettes are in their 18th year and have won several regional and national awards and titles as well as performing at local festivals, parades, The Indy 500 and Walt Disney World.  Choreographers Katie James Miller and Holly Handlon are former Rosette members and Circle of Light performers.

Anneliese and Ali, ages 34 and 27, are a married duo from Morgan County. They have performed in Nashville’s Blue Bird Cafe and have upcoming Pride events scheduled for 2021. They currently have two singles out with a new Christmas release coming in December.

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.

The IPL Coloring Contest grand prize winner, Emma Meece from Mooresville, a 12-year-old sixth-grade student at Northwood Elementary School, will help to “flip the switch” for theCircle of Lights virtual celebration broadcast exclusively on WTHR-13 Friday, Nov. 27 at 7 p.m.

Her coloring sheet includes an artistic drawing of a reindeer with Monument Circle and the Circle of Lights in the background. In addition to appearing with Santa at Circle of Lights, Meece 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:

  • Grace Anderson, age 11, 46158
  • Savannah Rees, age 9, 46237
  • Natalie Bosworth, age 12, 46158
  • Declan Coffey, age 11, 46113

The Coloring Contest is presented by Indianapolis Power & Light Company in partnershipwith IBEW 481, CollegeChoice 529, WTHR and IndyStar. All five entries will be part of the Shining a Light holiday presentation on Monument Circle nightly Nov. 28 – Dec. 31 at 6:30, 8 and 10 p.m. (Larger than life on the IPL building!)