For Immediate Release
Mayor's Tree Lighting Kicks Off Festival of Lights
Springfield's annual Festival of Lights will kick off at 5:30 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 17 at Jordan Valley Park. Mayor Bob Stephens will signal the start of the holiday season by lighting a 33-foot Norway spruce,located in the park, East of the Mediacom Ice Park. The musical tree and surrounding park will be lit up with thousands of lights.
Festival of Lights is a six-week celebration containing a flurry of holiday activities in Springfield's Center City from Nov. 17 through New Year's Day. Major events, in addition to the Mayor's Tree Lighting Ceremony, include:
- Candyland at the Footbridge, at the Jefferson Avenue Footbridge on Commercial Street, noon, Saturday Dec. 1
- Downtown Springfield Christmas Parade, 2 p.m., Dec. 8
- First Night Springfield 2012, 5:30 – midnight, New Year's Eve.
Hundreds of school-aged children are expected to attend the tree lighting ceremony, which includes live music by local performing artist Allie Hutsell, and visit by Santa Claus. The Mayor will have special help from Springfield public and private school 1st and 2nd graders, who will make jingle bell crafts and then parade with Santa through Jordan Valley Park to Hammons Field. Prizes are available for 1st and 2nd grade classes with the highest attendance.
Mediacom Ice Park, located at 635 E. Trafficway, will again offer free ice skating, 6-8 p.m. Skate rental is $2.50.
Springfield Cardinals will host a Cardinals Christmas following the tree lighting ceremony. Children will be able to visit with Santa and enjoy hot chocolate and candy canes. The evening ends with a big bang: a fireworks show set to holiday music.
New this year is Santa's mailbox, a decked-out mailbox provided by the U.S. Postal Service, onsite Saturday night only, for the children to send letters to Santa.
Crews continue to add lighting elements this week throughout Center City. Public Works began outlining Historic City Hall with lights and hanging snowflake lights in early November.
Free parking is available at Mediacom Ice Park and Hammons Field. Convenient parking is also available for a fee at The Jordan Valley Car Park on Trafficway.
The City of Springfield appreciates the support of presenting sponsor Mercy and event sponsors Midwest Family Radio and the Springfield Cardinals.