“Did you know that Indianapolis is home to the largest man-made Christmas tree in the world?” I share this little gem of information with all of my friends back east in New Jersey. Their response is usually something along the lines of, “Yeah, I’m going to go see the real tree in Rockefeller Plaza.” Show offs!
I don’t know about everyone else, but my favorite part of the holiday season is the lighting of the tree at Indianapolis’ Monument Circle. My family usually spends Thanksgiving with my relatives in Louisville, KY, and we rarely make it back to Indianapolis for the tree lighting festivities on the evening of Black Friday. This always bums me out. In fact, the one time we did make it back in time and I was downtown with my friends to witness this magical moment, I turned my head at just the wrong time, and I missed the lights being turned on and we left before the firework display (Yes! There are fireworks!) So it is my mission to make sure that no one else suffers this ill-fate.
Head to downtown Indianapolis on the evening of November 26 for the Circle of Lights: Christmas Tree Lighting! This annual celebration which dates back to 1962 is full of holiday hoopla! The lights are hung on the monument which stands 284 feet and 6 inches tall. The 4,784 lights used to create the tree are hung by volunteers from the Contractors of Quality Connection and Electrical Workers of IBEW 481. There is live entertainment, giant candy cane and nutcracker decorations, a mailbox for letters to Santa, and television coverage that runs from 7-8 pm. The lighting of the tree will take place at 7:45 pm (don’t blink or turn around!) Over 100,000 spectators are expected and the event is FREE OF CHARGE!
The tree will be up until early January, so even if you do sneeze, turn around, or fall over at the absolutely worst moment, rest assured that you will still have a chance to see all of the pretty lights!