News release from the Downtown Improvement District:
Holiday Traditions in Downtown Fort Wayne
(November 6, 2014) – Whether keeping or starting a holiday tradition, join us for HolidayFest in beautiful Downtown Fort Wayne featuring the Night of Lights on November 26. With exciting lighting ceremonies and heart-warming activities Downtown is a magical place to kick off your holiday season!
The Night of Lights begins with the History Center Turret Lighting, then join the USF Robert Goldstine Performing Arts Center for a Wreath Lighting and Choir performance. Aunt Millie’s Northern Lights and the Community Center Santa’s Workshop are lit next. Don’t miss iconic lightings like PNC’s Santa and his Reindeer followed by the Wells Fargo Holiday Display and Indiana Michigan Power Merry Christmas Wreath. The Botanical Conservatory displays and Animated Holiday Windows at the Embassy Theatre capture the imagination of everyone heading to Parkview Field for the Night of Lights Fireworks.
New This Year:
Stay tuned after the fireworks to hear the first annual Ringing of the Bells, coordinated by First Presbyterian Church, as nine of our local churches will chime in unison to ring in the start of Downtown’s Holiday Season!
The fun doesn’t stop with the lighting ceremonies as great activities will take place throughout the evening. Warm up with Cocoa and Carols at the Allen County Courthouse or participate in activities like the Grand Wayne’s Holiday Open House, Embassy’s Festival of Trees, History Center’s Festival of Gingerbread and live reindeer at the Botanical Conservatory.
Free parking will be available at the Civic Garage beginning at 5:00pm and the Plaza Garage at the Ed Rousseau Building (former City County Building) will be free after 6:00pm on November 26, 2014. Gates may still be down if patrons arrive earlier, but will be open for those who exit after 6:00pm. Special thanks to the City of Fort Wayne for this kind gesture!
HolidayFest featuring the Night of Lights is Presented by PNC Bank and your Downtown Improvement District and sponsored by Fort Wayne Newspapers, Visit Fort Wayne, Hanning & Bean Enterprises Inc., Targeted Services P.C. and WAJI 95.1 Best FM.
HolidayFest continues through the end of the year with performances, festivals, art events, Holly Trolley Shopping, and so much more. For a complete list of lighting ceremony activities as well as a comprehensive holiday calendar, visit https://downtownfortwayne.com/holidayfest/.
Night of Lights Schedule 2014: Wednesday, November 26th
- 5:15pm History Center Turret Lighting (Barr Street)
- 5:30pm University of Saint Francis Robert Goldstine Performing Arts Center (PAC) Wreath Lighting (Berry Street)
- 5:45pm Aunt Millie’s Northern Lights (Pearl Street)
- 6:00pm Community Center Santa’s Workshop display (Main Street)
- 6:15pm Santa and his Reindeer at PNC with Mayor Tom Henry, Santa and special guests (Main and Berry Streets)
- 6:45pm Wells Fargo Holiday Display and Indiana Michigan Power Merry Christmas Wreath with a special performance by the Fort Wayne Children’s Choir (I&M Power Center Plaza, Wayne and Calhoun)
- 7:15pm Botanical Conservatory & Embassy Theatre Window Lighting (Jefferson)
- 7:45pm Parkview Field Fireworks (Jefferson)
Special Feature: Stay tuned after the fireworks to hear the Ringing of the Bells as nine of our local churches chime in unison marking the beginning of the holiday season.
Check out these special Downtown activities:
Skating at Headwaters Park
330 S. Clinton Street, 1:00pm – 10:00pm
End your night of holiday kick-off fun by skating at the Headwaters Park Ice Rink! The rink will be open for Night of Lights. Admission is $5 (ages 14 and over), $3 (ages 13 and under). Skate rental is $2. Open Thanksgiving Day 4:00pm – 8:00pm!
Santa’s Workshop at the Community Center
233 W. Main Street, 4:30pm – 7:30pm
Start your downtown celebration at the Community Center with free holiday activities for the kids. Bring your kids out for free make & take crafts, refreshments, and a movie. New this year: tuba-playing Santas will entertain the crowd from 5:00pm – 6:00pm and during the Community Center’s 6:00pm lighting ceremony. Don’t forget your camera! A brand new, towering Christmas tree will be set up in the lobby, a great place for family photos. Donate a new or gently used bear and enter a drawing to win a giant elf bear. Kids can shop for inexpensive holiday gifts for $3 or less at the North Pole Stop-n-Shop. Mom and Dad can shop, too.
Aunt Millie’s Northern Lights
350 Pearl Street, 5:00pm – 8:00pm
On your way to the Santa lighting, stop by Aunt Millie’s parking lot for some cider and bread. Check out the “Aunt Millie’s Northern Lights” amazing holiday light display.
USF’s Robert Goldstine Performing Arts Center Wreath Lighting & Choir Performance
Starting at 431 W. Berry Street, 5:30pm
Featuring members of Heartland and area congregation choir members singing the “Hallelujah Chorus” from Handel’s Messiah prior to lighting the historic outdoor wreath.
Cathedral Books & Gifts
915 S. Clinton Street, 5:00pm – 9:00pm
Cathedral Books is located directly across from Indiana Michigan Power Center Plaza on Clinton Street across from the wreath lighting and will be open with a special sale of 20% off everything. Don’t miss their free cookies & wassail!
Holiday Kick-Off Party
Botanical Conservatory, 1100 S. Calhoun Street, 5:00pm – 9:00pm
Bring the family to get a free photo with Santa, meet some real reindeer, and enjoy a free cookie and hot cocoa during the Night of Lights. Sponsored by PBS 39 and WAJI 95.1 Best FM.
Call (260) 427-6440 or visit botanicalconservatory.org $5/adult, $3/child ages 3-17, age 2 and under free.
Wayne and Calhoun Street, 4:30pm – 8:30pm
4:30pm: The Northrop High School Show Choir will perform at One Summit Square, under the direction of Tom Maupin.
5:00pm: Come and experience America’s most legendary vehicle – the Wells Fargo Stagecoach, on display in front of the Wells Fargo Indiana Center Building at 111 E. Wayne Street. The stagecoach display is free and open to the public through 8:30pm. Be sure to bring your camera for lasting memories. As a special treat, Jack-the-Dog will be around to greet you at the stagecoach.
History Center presents 29th Annual Festival of Gingerbread
302 E. Berry Street, 5:00pm – 9:00pm
The Festival of Gingerbread, now in its 29th year, attracts crowds who come to view the creations of individuals of all ages, families and professionals. Over 100 creations made of edible materials by persons ranging in age from pre-schoolers to adults including professional chefs are featured. Also Visit Santa Claus in the Orientation Room during the Night of Lights, $3 per person.
Santa and his Reindeer Lighting
PNC Bank, 110 W Berry, 5:30pm – 8:00pm
Visit Santa to get a photo and tell him your wish list under the Santa and Reindeer display. Enjoy a free cup of hot cocoa from the Salvation Army’s cantina. Commemorative ornaments from Easter Seals Arc will be available for purchase.
Embassy Festival of Trees
Embassy Theatre, 125 W. Jefferson, 6:00pm – 9:00pm
Beginning with the Night of Lights, the Embassy Festival of Trees is a featured stop in the city’s annual downtown lighting ceremony, offering the opening of the Harrison Street animated holiday windows and viewing of more than 55 beautifully decorated trees.
Grand Wayne Center’s Holiday Open House
120 W. Jefferson St, Open House: 6:00pm – 8:00pm
See Fort Wayne Youth Concert Orchestra, Youth Symphony Orchestra, visit with Mrs. Claus, Faith in Motion Dancers, ACPL Children’s Department holiday crafts plus punch and cookies. All free and open to the public.
Holiday Fireworks and Lights of Love
Parkview Field, 1301 Ewing Street, 5:00pm – 8:00pm, Fireworks at 7:45pm
Cap off your night downtown with a spectacular fireworks display at Parkview Field! Enjoy the “Lights of Love” luminary display, presented by Erin’s House, on your way into the ballpark. For information on how to sponsor a luminary, log on to ErinsHouse.org. The holiday fireworks will begin at 7:45pm. Beverages will be available for purchase, but admission is free!
Cocoa & Carols at the Courthouse
Allen County Courthouse, 715 S. Calhoun Street, 6:30pm – 7:30pm
Join us for cocoa and cookies in the rotunda of the Allen County Courthouse while enjoying Christmas Carols from the Fort Wayne Children’s Choir during the Night of Lights, Cameras and Cell Phones Welcome.
Cocoa Stop with Santa at YVH
Your Virgin Hair Boutique, 912 S. Calhoun Street, 5:00pm – 8:00pm
Santa Claus comes to YVH for the Night of Lights! Children can visit Santa and receive a candy cane inside the boutique. Parents are welcome to bring their cameras for photos of their children. Free hot cider and cocoa will we served.
First Presbyterian Lighting
First Presbyterian Church, 300 W. Wayne Street, 5:40pm
On your way through the lighting ceremonies stop by 1st Presbyterian at 5:40pm before Aunt Millie’s to enjoy their lights and music from their Carillon. Also stay tuned after the fireworks for the Ringing of the Bells at 8:05pm!