Lighting Up The ‘Ville

We know what you’re thinking and the cries are true – the holidays arrive earlier every year and this season is no exception. For the past 33 years, “Light Up Louisville 40 Nights of Lights” has been the event to mark the real beginning of the holiday season in the River City. Music, fireworks, a host of family activities and of course the turning on of the lights that illuminate four continuous blocks of Fourth Street, “Light Up Louisville” is a must on everyone’s to-do list.

Friday, Nov. 28, (the day after Thanksgiving) will see the arrival of Santa Claus, who will help Mayor Greg Fischer illuminate downtown Louisville by flicking the switch. The switching on of the lights will be followed by a fireworks display courtesy of Zambelli, all centered at a main stage situated at Fourth and Main St. The lights will feature 250 snowflake and fleur de lis fixtures, as well as LED archways and nearly 40 animated LED light pole banners.

For more information about Light Up Louisville including registration for the Run Run Rudolph 5K, call MetroCall 311 or visit

Friday, Nov. 28 • 2 – 10 p.m.
10 a.m. – 8 p.m. Christmas at the Galt House
12:30 p.m. Run, Run Rudolph 5K registration and packet pick up, 4th Market streets
2 p.m. Light Up Louisville opens (stage music, vendor market, pubs)
2-3 p.m. Run, Run Rudolph 5K run and walk
4 p.m. Main Stage entertainment begins
5-7 p.m. Santa’s Workshop Children’s area
6:30 – 8 p.m. Light Up Louisville Parade, 4th St. from Liberty to Main Stage
7:30 p.m. “Lights of Louisville” song performed by “A Lion Named Roar”
8 p.m. Santa’s arrival – 4th St. from Liberty to Main Stage
8:10 p.m. LIGHT UP! (stage entertainment, vendor market & pubs continue)
8:30 p.m. Pictures with Santa – FREE – Santa’s Workshop
9 p.m. First nightly light show at “Light Up Plaza,” 4th & Jefferson featuring Zambelli
10 p.m. Fourth Street Live! After Party; outdoor Light Up event ends

Run, Run Rudolph 5K

The Run, Run Rudolph 5K run/walk, is the fourth event of the city’s KentuckyOne Health Four De Lis running series, which starts on Fourth near Main. New this year, in addition to the top finisher awards, there will also be a “Best Holiday Running Attire” award in each of the race divisions. The fee is $35 and participants will receive a long sleeve T-shirt. For more information, visit

Toys for Tots

Light Up Louisville will again accept donations of unwrapped new toys for Toys for Tots. There will be a collection box at the Santa’s Workshop in the Fourth Street lobby of the Kentucky International Convention Center.

Spirit of Jefferson Cruises

The Spirit of Jefferson is offering two “Light Up Louisville” cruises on Nov. 28.  A pre-Light Up cruise will board at 4 p.m. and cruise from 4:30-5:30 p.m. for $10 per person. After the lights and fireworks, the Light Up cruise will board at 9 p.m. and cruise from 9:30-11:30 p.m. for $15 per person. Visit for information or to book tickets.

Trees at Metro Hall

Louisville Metro Hall will again be decorated and lighted for the holidays outside and inside. Beginning Dec. 1, Metro Hall will feature a colorful display of trees decorated by children from the 12 Metro Parks Community Centers and nearby neighborhoods, weekdays 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m.

UofL Game-day lights

The “40 Nights of Lights” will feature a special red/white salute before and after all University of Louisville men’s and women’s basketball games played during the holidays at the KFC Yum Center.

Ice Skating Rink

The ice skating rink will again be located at Fourth Street Live!, starting Nov. 29. The rink uses a synthetic ice which ensures its availability even if outdoor temperatures go above freezing. The fee for skating is $5 an hour for adults, $3 for children under 13. Daily rates are $10, and a season pass is $40 for all ages. Skates will be available to rent for $2.