Five Questions on Bardstown Road Aglow

Five Questions on Bardstown Road Aglow

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Saturday, Dec. 1 is time once again for the annual Bardstown Road Aglow.

This event always reminds me of an “Old-Fashioned Christmas” with people laughing and shopping and just taking in the holiday season.

It’s become one of my family’s traditions to participate in the lighting of the big spruce tree in front of Wendy’s at the corner of Bardstown Road and Grinstead Drive.

There are always carolers, hot chocolate, and even Santa Claus himself.

Last year, over 60,000 people attended Bardstown Road Aglow. If the weather cooperates, they are hoping for even bigger numbers this year.

Here are my five questions on Bardstown Road Aglow with Aaron Givhan, President of the Highland Commerce Guild.

Aaron Givhan
Aaron Givhan (Source: Lauren Rose Givhan)

1.) What’s the history of Bardstown Road Aglow?

The Highland Commerce Guild developed Bardstown Road Aglow in 1985 to enhance and promote commerce for Highland area merchants. The event has grown into one of the largest festivals in the Louisville area, with tens of thousands attending each year.

2.) You are always adding new things -- what’s new this year? And what are some of the old favorites?

The Big Spruce Light Up is one of the most anticipated events for Bardstown Road Aglow. Every year at 5:30 p.m., we light up the magnificent spruce at the corner of Bardstown Road and Grinstead.

The giant spruce on the corner of Bardstown Road and Grinstead lights up at 5:30 p.m.
The giant spruce on the corner of Bardstown Road and Grinstead lights up at 5:30 p.m. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

From 6 to 9 p.m., Park Community Credit Union’s Polar Palooza is the place for kids to get their letters to Santa and dance to live music from The Serenades.

For the first time ever, Bardstown Road Aglow will feature musicians and carolers from Lincoln Performing Arts School. Twelve students will travel along the Bardstown Road corridor performing for all those attending.

3.) What do different stores/restaurants do to add excitement to this night?

Big Bar, Highland Morning, Highland Tap Room, Impellizzeri’s Pizza, La Chasse, Nirvana, One Love Hemp Dispensary, Outlook Inn, O’ Shea’s Irish Pub, Renaissance by Design, and Uptown Café are making special holiday cocktails featuring Maker’s Mark bourbon. The cocktails are $10 and a portion of every drink will represent a local charity.

4.) Lighting up the tree is always a fun time. How did that become a tradition?

In 2011, Wendy’s first agreed to decorate the big spruce for Bardstown Road Aglow. At that time it was about 30 feet in height. It’s even taller today. Since that first year, Wendy’s installs the lights each holiday season, Santa arrives by trolley, there’s free coffee and hot chocolate, there’s the countdown to the tree lighting, and then Santa is off aboard the Thirsty Peddler to his next destination at the Park Polar Palooza.

5.) Is it hard for Santa to fit this event into his schedule for this time of year?

This event gets Santa in the holiday spirit every year! No matter how busy he is, Bardstown Road Aglow is an event that he could never miss.

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