FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) A "Santa Sighting" contest will help kick off the annual Holiday Fest in downtown Fort Wayne.
The Night of Lights is scheduled for Wednesday, November 21 at 5:45 p.m. with Aunt Millie's Northern Lights, The History Center turret lighting, and the lighting of Santa's Workshop at the Community Center.
The evening also includes the lighting of Santa and his Reindeer on the side of PNC Bank, the Wells Fargo holiday skywalk display, the Indiana Michigan Power Merry Christmas Wreath, displays at The Botanical Conservatory, and the animated holiday windows at the Embassy Theatre. It wraps up with fireworks at Parkview Field at 7:45 pm.
To build excitement for the Night of Lights, a "Santa Sighting" contest was held the week before the Night of Lights across downtown. Each day, PNC's miniature replica of the Santa and Reindeer display was placed at a downtown business. To enter the contest, people had to find the display, take a photo with it and send the picture to Stephen@downtownfortwayne.com . Each morning, a clue was given on the Downtown Improvement District's Facebook page and also on Majic 95.1. A drawing among entries will take place morning Monday, Nov. 19. The winner of the Santa Sighting contest and 3 family members or friends were given the privilege of flipping the switch to the Santa and Reindeer display at the Night of Lights with Mayor Tom Henry and Santa leading the countdown.
Free parking will be available at the Civic Center and Harrison Parking Garages and the Plaza Garage at the Ed Rousseau Building (former City County Building.)
For a complete list of lighting ceremony activities as well as a comprehensive holiday calendar, click here.
The following schedule of events was provided by the Downtown Improvement District:
Downtown's Annual Holiday Lighting Ceremony
The Night of Lights, November 21
5:45 pm Aunt Millie's Northern Lights (Pearl Street)
6:00 pm Community Center Santa's Workshop display (Main Street) and History Center turret lighting (Barr Street)
6:15 pm Santa and his Reindeer lighting at PNC with Mayor Tom Henry, Santa and special guests (Main and Calhoun Streets)
6:45 pm Wells Fargo holiday display and Indiana Michigan Power Merry Christmas Wreath (Wayne and Calhoun Streets)
7:15 pm Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory Displays & Animated Holiday Windows at the Embassy Theatre (Harrison Street)
7:45 pm Parkview Field fireworks (Jefferson and Webster)
Check out these special downtown activities during the Night of Lights:
Skating at Headwaters Park
1 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Begin or end your night of holiday kick-off fun by skating at the Headwaters Park Ice Rink! The rink will be open extended hours for Night of Lights. Admission is $5 (ages 14 and over), $3 (ages 13 and under). Skate rental is $2.
Santa's Workshop at the Community Center
4 – 7:30 pm, 233 W Main Street
Start off your downtown celebration at the Community Center with free holiday activities for the kids. Come in for make-n-take crafts, cookies and drinks, and holiday movies. All for free! 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 $2 or less at the North Pole Stop-n-Shop. Mom and Dad can shop that night too. Community Center patrons have been crafting holiday items to sell on Candy Cane Lane. The money raised from the crafts will be donated to the Community Center's wellness classes. Finally, check out our newly expanded light display on the Community Center roof.
Live Reindeer at the Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory
5 – 9 p.m., 1100 S. Calhoun Street
Bring the family to get a free photo with Santa, meet some real reindeer, and enjoy a free cookie and hot cocoa while you explore the Conservatory's holiday gardens and light exhibits at their best. Regular Conservatory admission fees apply: $5/adult, $3/child age 3-17. Children 2 and under are admitted free. No reservations required.
Aunt Millie's Northern Lights
5-8 pm, 350 Pearl Street
On your way to see the Santa lighting, stop by Aunt Millie's parking lot for free hot cider and Aunt Millie's Muffins. Check out the "Aunt Millie's Northern Lights" amazing holiday light display.
Cathedral Books & Gifts
5 – 9 p.m., 915 S Clinton Street
Cathedral Books is located directly across from One Summit Square on Clinton St. very close to the wreath lighting and will be open with a special sale of 20% off everything. Don't miss their free cookies & hot cider.
Wayne and Calhoun Street
5 – 6 p.m. Northrop High School Choir performs, with music instructor Tom Maupin.
5 – 8 pm Wells Fargo is pleased to announce new lighted features as part of their animated holiday exhibit, located on the walkway over Calhoun Street. In partnership with the DID, Wells Fargo's enhanced light display reflects the commitment to community revitalization in downtown Fort Wayne. Experience America's most legendary vehicle- the Wells Fargo Stagecoach, which will be on
display in front of the Wells Fargo Indiana Center. Cameras are welcome for family photos.
History Center presents 27 th Annual Festival of Gingerbread
5– 9 p.m., 302 E. Berry Street
Explore the museum's new exhibition gallery "Allen County Innovation" and see the gingerbread creations. The event supports and raises funds for the History Center and its programs. $2 tickets at the door.
Santa and his Reindeer Lighting
5:30 – 8 pm, 110 W Berry, PNC Bank
Visit Santa to get a photo and tell him your wish list under the sparkle of the Santa and Reindeer display. Enjoy a free cup of hot chocolate from the Salvation Army's cantina or 3Rivers FCU cocoa booth. Commemorative ornaments from Easter Seals Arc will be available for sale.
Embassy Festival of Trees
6 – 9 p.m., Embassy Theatre, 125 W Jefferson
Stay a little longer at the Embassy and enjoy the grand opening of the tree displays and A Party Apart's winter carnival on the stage.
HolidayFest - Hot Cocoa Stop
Courtyard by Marriott Downtown
6 - 9 pm, 1150 S Harrison Street
Grand Wayne Convention Center
6 – 8 pm, 120 W. Jefferson Street
6:00pm - Complimentary Holiday cookies and punch
6:00pm – 8:00pm – ACPL Children's Department Holiday Crafts
6:00pm - 6:30pm - Fort Wayne Youth Concert Orchestra
6:00pm - 8:00pm - Visiting with Mrs. Claus
6:30pm - 7:00pm - Faith in Motion Dancers performance
7:00pm -7:30pm – Fort Wayne Youth Symphony Orchestra
Holiday Fireworks and Lights of Love
Parkview Field, 5 – 7:45 fireworks
Cap off your night downtown with a spectacular fireworks display at Parkview Field! Get a sneak peek at the "Lights of Love" luminary display, presented by Erin's House on your way into the ballpark. For information how you can sponsor a luminary, log on to ErinsHouse.org. The holiday fireworks will begin promptly at 7:45pm. Holiday snacks and beverages will be available for purchase.
Cocoa and Carols
6:30 – 7:30
Allen County Courthouse
Hot Chocolate and Cookies will be served.
Pictures with Santa in the Courtside Building
5 – 8 pm, 803 S. Calhoun Street
Stop by the Courtside Building to take your picture with Santa! The Courtside Building is located on the South East corner of Calhoun and Berry, so stop in on your walk between the Santa lighting and the Wreath lighting! Fill out a raffle ticket to enter into the drawing for a $50.00 Toy's 'R Us gift card. Sponsored by The Steffen Group.
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