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Posted on: November 9, 2023

New holiday tree to be star of the show at Mayor’s annual tree lighting


A new, spectacular 49-foot holiday tree will be lit at the 2023 Mayor’s Tree Lighting and Holiday Show Nov. 18 in Park Central Square. The five-story tree was made possible in part thanks to a donation from the Hatch Foundation. 

The event is produced by the City’s Department of Public Information & Civic Engagement, in partnership with City Utilities, KY3 and the Downtown Community Improvement District. Additional assistance is provided by Springfield-Greene County Park Board.

In addition to witnessing a dazzling display of lights, attendees will also be treated to performances from a diverse lineup of artists. Entertainment will range from country to jazz to performances in Spanish to opera and everything in between. 

“We want our entire community to feel welcome at this annual event, which is why we are featuring a wide variety of artists,” said Cora Scott, event director and director of Public Information and Civic Engagement for the City of Springfield. “We’re excited to see some new and different interpretations of the holiday classics.”

Join us starting at 6 p.m. Saturday on Park Central Square or at 7 p.m. from the comfort of your own home on Me TV. The tree will be lit just before 8 p.m. 

The Mayor’s Commission on Children will provide free copies of the book 'Twas the Night Before Christmas during a 6 p.m. reading of the holiday favorite on the square by Mayor Ken McClure.

Throughout the evening, families can take “Selfies with Santa,” enjoy free horse-drawn carriage rides courtesy of the Downtown Community Improvement District, ice skate for free at Jordan Valley Ice Park and enjoy free hot chocolate, cookies and candy canes courtesy of the City. 

Back by popular demand are free rides on the SGF Holiday Express Train, which will circle Park Central Square throughout the evening. 

The Mayor’s Tree Lighting Holiday Show event serves as the kickoff for the holiday season.

For more information and a map of where to park, visit


  • Springfield Little Theatre YES Troupe 
  • Springfield Ballet 
  • Sister Cities – Tlaquepaque - Grupo Musical Canela and/or Paco Padilla
  • Allie Hutsell and Grace McKenna
  • Anastasia Vang 
  • Janice Wilson 
  • Drury Christmas Vespers 
  • Jessie Cowen 
  • Conrad and Tiffany Bear
  • Vic Vaughan  (winner of the 2023 Great Route 66 Talent Search Competition)
  • Springfield Symphony
  • Springfield Symphony Brass Quintet 
  • Internationally renowned opera star Michael Spyres 
  • Studio Vie Dancers
  • Matthew Huchteman
  • Sade Shine. 


  • Holiday Tree Donor: Hatch Foundation
  • Ice Skating Sponsor: Corwin Auto Group
  • Diamond Sponsor: Mercy
  • Gold Sponsor: American National
  • Silver Sponsor: Bass Pro Shops
  • Additional supporters: Crawford, Murphy & Tilly and Olsson Associates.

 Santa’s House décor made possible through a generous grant from the Community Foundation of the Ozarks.

Schedule of Events

  • 5-8 p.m. – Free ice skating at Jordan Valley Park 
  • 6-9 p.m. – Free horse-drawn carriage rides at Park Central Square (southwest corner)
  • 5:30 p.m. – Central High School Choir
  • 6 p.m. – Children are invited to join Mayor Ken McClure on stage at Park Central Square for the reading of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas. Free books while supplies last courtesy of the Mayor’s Commission on Children
  • 6:10 p.m. – Santa and Mrs. Claus arrive at Park Central Square on the Holiday Express Train
  • 6:20-7 p.m. Live performances on the Park Central Square stage
  • 6:45 p.m. – Swearing in of future soldiers into the U.S. Army.
  • 6:30-8:30 p.m. – Santa Land on Park Central Square – selfies with Santa and Mrs. Claus, free Holiday Express Train rides, Cookie Factory and Jingle Bell Station.
  • 7-7:45 p.m. – Pre-recorded holiday television special on Me TV and broadcast into Park Central Square on the jumbo screen.
  • 7:45 p.m. – Santa, Mrs. Claus and special musical guests join Mayor Ken McClure, KY’s Paul Adler and Maria Neider and Cora Scott for the countdown and lighting of the official Mayor’s Christmas tree. 
  • 8-8:30 p.m. Talented local performers via video on the jumbo screen and continued opportunity to visit Santa and Mrs. Claus at Santa Land in Park Central Square. 

Additional dates to visit Santa and Mrs. Claus, courtesy of the Department of Public Information:

  • Nov. 24 and 25, 6-8 p.m.
  • Dec. 1, 2, 8,9, 15, 16, 22 and 23, 6-8 p.m.

Additional dates for free ice skating at Jordan Valley Ice Park, courtesy of the Springfield-Greene County Park Board:

  • Nov. 23, 7-8:30 p.m. (Thanksgiving Day)
  • Dec. 9, 7-8:30 p.m.
  • Dec. 23, 7-8:30 p.m.
  • Dec. 25, 7-8:30 p.m. (Christmas Day) 

Skate rental is $3 during these sessions. 


For more information, please contact Cora Scott at 417-380-3352.


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