THIS JUST IN: Circle of Lights – Watch from home this year

Downtown Indy Inc.’s Circle of Lights may be the city’s most time-honored holiday tradition, but in a time of pandemic thousands of people won’t be converging on Monument Circle on Friday, Nov. 27.

Instead, amid precautions being taken to protect against COVID-19, the event will be a special, made-for-TV-only event. Sponsored as usual by IBEW 481, the Circle of Lights festivities will begin at 7 p.m. on WTHR Channel 13.

Musical acts chosen from the forthcoming Tom Wood Talent Search for the television event will still create a festive holiday spirit and Santa will help flip the switch to illuminate Monument Circle, marking the kick-off to the holiday season.

Without hesitation, the electrical workers and volunteers of IBEW 481 will continue the tradition of decorating the Soldiers & Sailors Monument with 52 garland strands with 4,784 LED colored lights, strung from the top of the Monument to its base. The Monument will continue to be surrounded with 26 larger-than-life toy soldiers and sailors and 26 peppermint sticks. The lights on Monument Circle will be illuminated Friday night, Nov. 27. Additionally, beginning Saturday, Nov. 28, a special nightly Shining A Light holiday presentation at 6:30, 8 and 10 p.m. will complement the lights on Monument Circle.

Again this year, a lucky child will be chosen from the IPL Coloring Contest to help Santa illuminate the night by “flipping the switch” during the Circle of Lights television show on WTHR. 

“The show must, and will, go on,” said Downtown Indy, Inc., President Sherry Seiwert. “We are so thankful for IBEW 481 and its dedication, care and craftsmanship shared year after year to install the lights and present the Circle of Lights for the entire community to enjoy. The TV event, in place of the live celebration, will still be wonderful. We look forward to uniting back Downtown this holiday season in small and measured ways.”

Sightseers will be able to take in this brilliant spectacle throughout the holiday season, lit through early January. Travelocity named the Circle of Lights® one of the top five “must-see Christmas trees” in the nation.  USA Todayalso listed the Circle of Lights® as one the “10 Best Holiday Attractions.”

Circle of Lights is an official program of Downtown Indy, Inc., which focuses on development, management, activation and marketing to advance Downtown as a great place to live, learn, work and play. We’re the People Behind the Place. Visit for more information.

PHOTO ABOVE: Circle of Lights usually attracts 100,000 people to the core of Downtown – something that won’t happen this year because of COVID-19 concerns.