Thousands line downtown streets for Light Up Louisville - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Thousands line downtown streets for Light Up Louisville

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Santa Claus was in Louisville to help the mayor flip the switch. Santa Claus was in Louisville to help the mayor flip the switch.
Mayor Greg Fischer Mayor Greg Fischer

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Thousands lined the streets as Santa Claus and Louisville's mayor flipped a switch and illuminated downtown for the holiday season Friday night.

The annual Light Up Louisville event drew interest from people who also attended the University of Louisville's basketball game at the KFC Yum! Center. Plenty of children and their parents attended, too.

[PREVIOUS STORY: Light Up Louisville counts on UofL crowd to boost celebration]

"My daughter saw on TV that the 'real' Santa would be in the parade," said Deziray Hoke of Salem, Ind. "She wants to see Santa really bad."

Metro Police escorted Saint Nick to the main stage at Fourth and Main streets, where the crowd counted down to the lighting ceremony. Two decorated trees lit up, and fireworks shot off over the downtown buildings.

"There are a lot of people, but everyone's very friendly," said Bobbie Johnson, who was at the event with her grandson. "We were lucky to find a seat."

Kids got a chance to give their gift requests to Santa after the ceremony. Prior to Santa's arrival, a parade lasted about an hour downtown.

Floats, fire trucks, marching bands and even horses made their way through the crowds.

"We've never been down here for this," said Hoke, who has kids ages 5, 3 and 1 year old. "The kids love it."

Light Up Louisville kicked off the 40 Days of Lights downtown, a Christmas light display along Fourth Street that happens every evening through Jan. 1. To see the full schedule of events, click here.

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