GREENSBORO, N.C. – The 24th annual Festival of Lights celebration will be held Friday, December 7 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 the United Arts Council of Greater Greensboro, spanning seven blocks along Elm Street. Over 20 performing groups will be showcased. Downtown shops, restaurants and galleries will be open throughout the festival area for patrons to enjoy.
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, sponsored by Signature Property Group. Children are also invited to take a free ride on the Polar Express courtesy of new downtown restaurant, The WORX.
The South Pole on Elm, located in the 500 and 600 blocks of South Elm Street, will be filled with holiday cheer and entertainment courtesy of Downtown Greensboro, Inc. Follow the festive air dancers to the blocks between Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive at the railroad crossing and Bain Street where elves will be handing out candy canes and special surprises. Enjoy holiday music while watching special video projections on the buildings of Old Greensborough. Free hot beverages, provided by the Downtown Residents’ Association of Greensboro, will be available outside of Elements Gallery. To commemorate the evening, visitors are invited to have their picture made into a magnet at a free photo booth provided by Festival of Lights signature sponsor the Greensboro News & Record.
A highlight of the festival will be the Community Sing 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 led by Wally West at 7:00 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, a bounce house and souvenir reindeer antlers provided by the News & Record.
Festival of Lights is partnering with the United Arts Council and Downtown Greensboro, Inc. for the December First Friday event. Almost 30 downtown galleries, antique and retail shops will be open late and will showcase local artists and musicians. A complete list of the 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 new 100-foot slide at the News 2 Piedmont Winterfest Ice Rink in Festival Park. Find additional seasonal event information at www.DowntowninDecember.org.
Festival of Lights will reprise the scavenger hunt activity FestQuest that highlights downtown businesses and historically significant buildings. Clues printed in the News & Record in advance of the festival will lead participants to ten downtown locations where they will scan a QR code or copy a symbol onto the entry form. Everyone who collects all ten QR codes or symbols will win prizes donated to FestQuest by downtown merchants, galleries, restaurants, museums and theaters. Deadline for entries is 11:59 p.m. on December 9.
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.
About Grassroots Productions Limited, Inc.
Grassroots Productions Limited is a Greensboro organization that stages charitable and educational activities that foster interest in local history and events in Guilford County. Grassroots Productions produces two holiday festivals annually – Fun Fourth Festival, celebrating our nation’s independence in July, and the Festival of Lights, a winter festival on the first weekend of December.
Grassroots Productions Limited, Inc.
P.O. Box 29212
Greensboro, N.C. 27429
CONTACT: Aislinn Spain, Operations Assistant