The Indiana Insider Blog

The Circle of Lights on Indianapolis’ Monument Circle

I’ve never seen the lighting of the Indiana Christmas tree, the Circle of Lights. I do have an excuse, in that I’ve only lived in Indianapolis for two Christmases. The rest of the time, I either lived in Muncie (Delaware County) or Syracuse (Kosciusko County). In the past couple of years, we’ve had sick kids and my wife’s birthday, but this year is going to be the year. I can just feel it.

But this year, I’m going to see the Circle of Lights as its lit.

The event is always held the day after Thanksgiving — Friday, November 27, this year — and attracts more than 100,000 spectators to the event.

The lighting has been a tradition since 1962. The 284′ 6″ tower is lit by 4,784 lights and 52 garland strands. They’re hung by volunteers from the Contractors of Quality Connection and Electrical Workers of IBEW 481.

Each year, the Circle is decorated with giant toys, peppermint sticks, gorgeous lights strung throughout the trees along the sidewalks, and even a mailbox for Santa. Last year, we took our two youngest kids to the Circle so they could drop the letter in Santa’s mailbox. They were so excited because this mail was a special delivery being taken directly to the North Pole.

There will be live entertainment that starts at 6:00 p.m., and the television coverage will start at 7:00 and run for an hour. The giant switch will be thrown around 7:45.

Since I’ve never been, I’m guessing it’s going to be important to get there rather early. I’ll probably show up around 4:00 so I can find a good place to stand, and just hope I’m not too late. If you have ever been to the tree lighting, and think I need to show up sooner, please let me know

Photo: JoanieOfArc

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Written by : is a professional blogger and social media consultant. He is also a humor columnist in several weekly papers around Indiana, and on his own blog at ErikDeckers.com. A supporter of the local arts scene, Erik is a rabid fan of the Indy Fringe Theatre Festival in the summer. Erik is married and a father of three, and a Ball State alum. Erik receives compensation from the Indiana Office of Tourism Development — and a warm fuzzy feeling — for blogging. For more information, see our FTC Disclosure page.