Downtown Lights Up

People walk into Bowling Green’s Fountain Square Park for Downtown Lights Up in 2017.

Bowling Green residents and others will celebrate the holiday season at the annual Downtown Lights Up event at the newly renovated Fountain Square Park on Dec. 6. The night will be bright with the glow of more than 20,000 Christmas lights and holiday cheer.

“We’ve had nothing but a joyful atmosphere at this event,” said Kim Lancaster, public information officer for the city of Bowling Green. “It’s hard to be surrounded by thousands of twinkle lights and not be in a good mood. Each and every year we see people come down here and get into the Christmas spirit and have a great time during this event.”

The day will begin with a Christmas bow cutting at 9:30 a.m. at City Hall.

The annual Christmas Open House at City Hall will be from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Visitors will enjoy food catered by Cambridge Market, live music from Bowling Green High School strings students, a reading of “The Night Before Christmas,” special character appearances, a holiday photo booth and more.

“We have a whole lot going on,” Lancaster said.

The first 500 people to attend will be given a free ornament with the city logo.

From 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., U.S. Bank will sponsor free carriage rides around the square.

Downtown Lights Up will begin about 5:30 p.m. with carolers and remarks from Mayor Bruce Wilkerson and local dignitaries at 6 p.m. Santa Claus will arrive on a firetruck at 6:30 p.m. for families to visit.

After Downtown Lights Up, the Capitol Arts Center will have a showing of “The Grinch” for $5 at 7:30 p.m. At Fountain Square Park, a Gingerbread Man pop-up play will be performed by Fountain Square Players at 6:30 p.m.

A full list of events is available at the city of Bowling Green’s Facebook page.

The lights downtown are a highlight of the holidays and a tradition for families.

It has become an event that brings the city of Bowling Green together and appeals to a wide audience of people, Lancaster said.

The city partners with the Downtown Redevelopment Authority to make the event an evening full of fun.

“We get all of the folks of the downtown area together to offer this event to the citizens of Bowling Green,” Lancaster said.

In response to residents’ feedback, the city is returning to using just white lights in Fountain Square Park.

“It’s something that people have asked us to bring back,” Lancaster said, adding that it will contribute to a “more elegant feel.”

Colored lights will be moved to Circus Square Park, along with an additional Christmas tree lit up with colorful lights. The two parks will be connected by Heritage Alley for easy access to both types of lights.

“That will offer something more for the younger kids or the young at heart who like those colored lights more so than the traditional white lights,” Lancaster said.

With construction in the Fountain Square Park area coming to a close, Lancaster expects the area this year to be more accessible.

“We’re hoping that it will be easier for folks to be in the park, the walkability will be better and the lighting will be better,” Lancaster said.

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