LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Santa Claus is coming to town to usher in the holiday season at the city's 33rd annual Light up Louisville event the evening after Thanksgiving. In addition, 40 Nights of Lights, a nightly array of lights and activities along four blocks of 4th Street, returns for a second year.
Santa will help illuminate downtown Louisville on Friday, November 29 before a holiday fireworks display -- all of it centered at a main stage located at 4th and Main Streets.
"Louisville is a city known around the world for our festivals and events, and we are always working to make them the best they can be," Mayor Greg Fischer said Wednesday. "By continuing to grow and improve Light up Louisville and 40 Nights of Lights, we're keeping alive the tradition that families have enjoyed for decades and adding new lights, excitement and activity to bring more citizens and visitors downtown to celebrate the season."
New features have been added to 40 Nights of Lights. More than 1,100 strands of red, green and blue LED lights will animate 250 snowflake and fleur de lis fixtures along four blocks of 4th Street from Main to Chestnut, according to the mayor's office. Over-the-street LED archways will feature lights set to music, along with nearly 40 animated LED light-pole banners.
Another feature will be a nightly light show synchronized to music in the Aegon Plaza at 4th and Jefferson. The 12-minute production will run at the start of each hour from 7 to 10 p.m. nightly through New Year's Eve.
Also making their debut this year are two brightly lit and decorated community Christmas trees -- one at the main stage at 4th and Main and a second near 4th and Liberty -- that were donated by Louisville families.
The popular skating rink in the heart of 4th Street Live! will return for a second year. The rink uses a synthetic ice to ensure its availability even if outdoor temperatures rise above freezing. The fee for skating is $5 an hour for adults and $3 for children under 13. Daily rates are $10, and a season pass costs $40 for adults, $30 for children. Skates will be available to rent for $2.
Light up Louisville activities will begin at 2 p.m. on November 29 with the Run, Run Rudolph 5K race, the fourth event of the city's KentuckyOne Health Four De Lis running series, which starts on 4th Street near Main. The entry fee is $35.
The annual Light Up Louisville Parade begins at 6:30 p.m. The parade route runs along 4th Street from Liberty to Main.
Santa Claus is expected to arrive at 8 p.m., joining the mayor in turning on thousands of lights on buildings and trees of all sizes, including the Light Up Louisville Christmas Tree near the main stage at 4th and Main and the second tree near 4th and Liberty.
Families will have an opportunity to sign a large community card for military men and women serving overseas. The card will be available to sign at the Kentucky International Convention Center the evening of Light Up Louisville and at Fifth Third Bank at 4th and Liberty throughout the 40 Nights of Lights.