Circle of Lights show brightens downtown Indy

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Downtown Indianapolis kicked off the holiday season by lighting up Monument Circle and the downtown Indianapolis sky with the 55th annual Circle of Lights celebration.

Around 100,000 people were there to start the season in style. Nearly 5,000 LED lights will illuminate Monument Circle for the next month or so.

“I think this monument is beautiful when it’s not lit up but when it’s lit up it’s really neat,” said Linda Markwell, who came out to see the lighting.

It’s a sentimental day for some Hoosiers.

“My dad was the first electrician to be the supervisor to wire the lighting and put the lighting up,” said Richard Green of Indianapolis.

Following in his father’s footsteps, Green too put up the lights.

“It kind of brings back a little bit of our dad and our childhood,” he said.

And now the whole family, including his grandchildren, rent hotel rooms nearby to watch the circle of lights every single year.

“Several years from now, when they’re renting the rooms themselves, they’ll say ‘Remember papa used to do this,’” said Green.

For others the tradition goes deeper than the holidays. The Markwells’ wedding anniversary is Nov. 27. So they make the two-hour drive from northern Kentucky to celebrate another year of love.

“Most people go out on Black Friday, and we skip that, and we come here and walk around and hang out,” said Markwell.

And to others, it’s a reminder to give back.

The Phegley family said they created two blessing bags that were filled with toiletries, gloves, a hat and snacks to pass out to people in need.

“I want to try to teach him that he should be grateful for all the things that he has and that there are others who aren’t as fortunate, so we try to give and help when we can,” said Julie Phegley, pointing to her son, Isaac.

So whatever Friday means to you, there is no wrong way to celebrate the holidays.