LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas in downtown Louisville.
Just one day after Thanksgiving, crews were busy setting up the stage and decorations for the 20,000 people expected to turn out for Light Up Louisville. The annual event kicking off Christmas downtown is a family tradition for many people. And the city is keeping with that tradition for the most part, making a few changes along the way.
Claire McCormick, events and marketing coordinator for the mayor's office, said this year the fun and festivities are coming back to Sixth and Jefferson streets.
"We're coming back home. We're right at Metro Hall where it used to be. The tree's at Jefferson Square. And then, of course, we'll have Santa's workshop inside Metro Hall this year," McCormick said.
Thousands of people flocked downtown Louisville for the event.
"We're excited! It looks fun and festive," Rhiannon Rostell said.
Rostell and her sister, Marissa Howard, were skating on the ice rink nearby with their family. The pair were visiting Louisville from Washington D.C. for the holiday weekend and it's their first time to Light Up Louisville.
"Oh definitely, it's always you know a little nerve wracking when you get out there," Rostell said. "You're worried about falling on your butt and embarrassing yourself in front of your husband. But we're going to get out there and give it our best shot."
And this year, real ice is back. Artificial ice was used in rinks in previous years. Families on the rink say they're glad to skate on the real deal.
It takes the city nearly one year to plan for this day, McCormick said. But it's all worth it, she said, when the city lights up.
"We have lights, lasers, fireworks, it's going to be great!" McCormick said.
To find out more about Light Up Louisville or other holiday in the city events, click here.