P.O. Box 29212
Greensboro, N.C. 27429
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FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS KICKS OFF HOLIDAY SEASON
GREENSBORO, N.C. – The 26th annual Festival of Lights celebration will be held Friday, Dec. 5 from 6-9 p.m. in Downtown Greensboro. The signature sponsor of the event is the Greensboro News & Record.
The festival will feature a musical stroll, sponsored by Gate City Transportation, Mary’s Antiques and ArtsGreensboro, spanning seven blocks along Elm Street. Over 25 performing groups will be showcased. Downtown shops, restaurants and galleries will be open throughout the festival area for patrons to enjoy.
The free Gate City Trolley will shuttle visitors from Center City Park on the north end of the festival to The Railyard on the south end from 5:30-9:30 p.m. The trolleys will run approximately every 15 minutes and will stop in the festival area on Elm Street and at Hamburger Square Park.
Home State Apparel will sponsor a performance by Paperhand Puppet Intervention. The group will bring two giant, holiday themed paper puppets to the streets of downtown. Look up to the sky to see them making their way down Elm Street.
Guilford Merchants Association will sponsor the Winter Wonderland located at the intersection of South Elm and McGee Streets. Santa Claus will hear holiday gift requests from children and families are encouraged to take photographs. The Salvation Army and 107.5 KZL will provide hot chocolate and marshmallows will be available for roasting amid a flurry of snowflakes, courtesy of City View Apartments.
The South End on Elm, located in the 500 and 600 blocks of South Elm Street, will be filled with holiday cheer and entertainment. The Polar Express will be taking children on a free ride courtesy of Gate City Transportation. Free hot beverages, provided by the Greensboro Downtown Residents’ Association, will be available outside of Elements Gallery.
A highlight of the festival will be the Community Sing-Along and the lighting of the 38-foot Community Tree contributed to Center City Park by the Joseph M. Bryan Foundation. The celebration opens with a performance by the North Carolina A&T Fellowship Gospel Choir at 5:45 p.m. followed by The Community Sing-Along led by Wally West at 7 p.m. The Community Tree and its five-foot star will be lit at 7:30 p.m. Center City Park will also host children’s crafts and a bounce house sponsored by UnitedHealthcare, as well as souvenir reindeer antlers provided by the News & Record.
Festival of Lights is partnering with ArtsGreensboro and Downtown Greensboro, Inc. for the December First Friday event. Dozens of downtown galleries, antique and retail shops will be open late and will showcase local artists and musicians. A complete list of participating venues is available at www.downtownfridays.com.
The seasonal First Friday Indie Market will again be held at the corner of South Elm and Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive. The First Friday Open House at the Cultural Arts Center at 200 North Davie Street will feature holiday music and dancers amid the galleries. Be sure to catch the News 2 Piedmont Winterfest Ice Rink in its new location at The Railyard. Find additional seasonal event information at www.DowntownInDecember.org.
The City of Greensboro is a co-sponsor of Festival of Lights and provides assistance for the installation of holiday decorations on the light poles downtown.
For more information about the Festival of Lights or to volunteer, please visit www.festivaloflightsgso.org, www.facebook.com/festivaloflightsgso, follow on Twitter @GrassrootsGSO, or call 336.274.4595.