CITY OF LIGHTS PARADE & HOLIDAY CELEBRATION USHERS IN THE 2012 HOLIDAY SEASON
LOWELL, Mass. – With Thanksgiving only 3 weeks away, the annual City of Lights Parade and Holiday Celebration is in high gear and ready to kick off the season! On Saturday, November 24TH at 4:30 p.m., the parade will once again begin on Jackson Street and end at City Hall with the traditional lighting of the City Hall, downtown Lowell, and the Wannalancit smoke stack Christmas tree. This year’s parade Grand Marshall will be Mark S. Cochran, President and Chief Executive Officer of Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union
In addition to the parade, the event will include: Magic Performances with Peter O’Malley at Lowell Five Bank on John Street at 12:30 p.m., 1:45 p.m. and 3 p.m.; Roving Holiday Carols with The Gentlemen Songsters; Gallery Shopping Tours on the COOL bus from noon-4 p.m.; the 4th Annual Festival of Wreaths Design Contest and Holiday Arts & Crafts Sale at the Lowell Masonic Center from 2 – 7 p.m.; and Lowell National Historical Park’s annual “All Aboard” Tour of Lowell on the Trolley Express, which departs from the Boott Cotton Mills Museum at 11 a.m., 12 p.m., 1 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. (reservations required, call 978-970-5000. Reservations will be accepted beginning November 13th).
Additional events include Children’s Shopping Day at the Pollard Memorial Library at 12 p.m.; a Holiday Express Village featuring quilted houses and a model train at the New England Quilt Museum, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. (standard admission rate applies); Lowell’s 5th Annual Hot Chocolate Competition throughout the afternoon at businesses in downtown Lowell; and Photos with Santa at M/A-COM Federal Credit Union from 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.
As in years past, Santa Claus will make his first appearance of the season, and will join Mayor Murphy to throw the switch to light City Hall and illuminate more than 100,000 lights throughout Downtown.
The ever-popular parade traditionally entertains well over 30,000 revelers and features more than 60 regional groups as well as performers from Lowell High School. Costumed characters, marching bands, and an assortment of illuminated floats also join the parade route. All floats should be lined up no later than 3 p.m. for judging, which will take place at 3:30 p.m. Awards are given in one of the following categories: Mayor’s Award – Best of Parade, Most Festive, and City Manager’s Community Organization Award. Following the parade from 6:30-8:30 p.m., there will be a free Holiday Choral Concert at St. Anne’s Church, 8 Kirk Street.
The City of Lights Parade and Holiday Celebration is presented by the City of Lowell in collaboration with the Greater Lowell Chamber of Commerce, Greater Lowell Convention & Visitors Bureau, the Cultural Organization of Lowell, and Lowell National Historical Park. For City of Lights sponsorship opportunities, please contact Deborah Belanger at 978-459-6510, ext. 115, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
2012 City of Lights Sponsors (as of November 7): Event Sponsor – Trinity EMS; Parade Sponsors – UMass Lowell, Greater Merrimack Valley Convention & Visitors Bureau, Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union; Band Sponsors – WCAP, Middlesex Community College, Merrimack Valley Magazine, Lowell Sun Charities, LowellBank, O’Connor Studios; Gallery Shopping Tour Sponsors – Eastern Bank, Mass Cultural Council, Cultural Organization of Lowell (COOL), LowellBank, Richard K. & Nancy L. Donahue Charitable Foundation; Specialty Unit Sponsor – Lowell Five Cent Savings Bank; Business Partner Sponsors - Lowell Spinners, Enterprise Bank, Washington Savings Bank; Friend Sponsors - Athenian Corner Restaurant, Heroes Uniform Supply & Sporting Goods, Lowell Community Health Center, Merrimack Repertory Theatre; Parade Supporters - Albert E.J. Bergeron Insurance Agency, Lowell Housing Authority, Ricardo’s Café Trattoria, UMass Lowell Bookstore
For more information, contact the City of Lowell’s Cultural Affairs & Special Events office at 978-674-4260 or visit www.lowellcityoflights.org for event updates.
Please join us on Wednesday, November 14 at 2:00 p.m. in the Mayor’s Reception Room at City Hall for a special Press Conference featuring musical performances and a special appearances by Santa and Lowla Bear.