Illuminate Springfield to highlight Holiday in the City weekend

Santa poses for pictures in front of the Springfield Holiday Tree during the Grand Illumination Friday. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

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Santa poses for pictures in front of the Springfield Holiday Tree during the Grand Illumination Friday. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Mix of images to be projected onto downtown businesses just part of the fun events Saturday and beyond.

Holiday in the City continues to deliver the Springfield seasonal spirit in a variety of ways this weekend, highlighted by the lights taking on a different shade.


Illuminate Springfield has fascinated previous Holiday in the City audiences with its mix of images projected onto downtown buildings including the Heritage Center and Bushnell Building. This season will see two nights devoted to it.

A collaboration between Greater Springfield Partnership, Holiday in the City, The AuroraMax Light Show and The Now Device, Illuminate Springfield will be 6 to 10 p.m. and again Saturday, Dec. 18; it was originally scheduled for today, Dec. 10, but organizers pushed it back due to threat of inclement weather.

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Expect to see images of local and national artists through projection mapping, blue light and interactive art.

John Kelly, Visit Greater Springfield’s downtown events coordinator, said Illuminate Springfield is made possible by a grant the Westcott House obtained and wanted to become involved in Holiday in the City for the first time.

“This is a huge part of why we are able to do this, through partnerships and sponsorships,” he said.

Other Saturday downtown activities include:

-Cookie decorating for children ages 10 and younger at Le Torte Dolci will be 9 to 11 a.m. The event is free and will allow kids to make cookies and decorate them for free. Space is limited and will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Breakfast and mimosas will be available for separate purchase.

-Holidays at the Museum will be 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Heritage Center of Clark County in the annex. Admission is free. Enter to the left of the main lobby doors off the parking lot next to the train tracks.

Santa Claus will visit for photos in a restored sleigh and kids will get a sweet treat and holiday coloring page. The Peanuts figures will be on display for photo opportunities along with Santa’s chair from the Upper Valley Mall in the museum lobby. Visitors can also check the various museum galleries to search for elves.

-Warm Up at Warder is 1 to 4 p.m. at the Warder Literacy Center. Come in for hot chocolate, cookies, browse the center’s selection of used books for sale and a visit from Mrs. Claus. Admission is free.

-Santa Con at Mother Stewart’s Brewing Company, 4 to 10 p.m. This free family-friendly event will offer live music, a photo booth, a live ice carver, hot bar and costume contests for Best Santa and Best Holiday Outfit.

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The event is a fundraiser with proceeds benefitting The United Way of Clark, Champaign and Madison Counties.

-The live concert Christmas with the Celts will be 8 p.m. at the Clark State Performing Arts Center and presented by the Springfield Arts Council. Tickets are still available.


-Horse-drawn carriage rides will resume, 6 to 9 p.m. beginning outside the Courtyard by Marriott. Rides cost $5 a person and free for ages 10 and younger.

-”Hairspray National Broadway Tour” will be 7 p.m. at the Clark State Performing Arts Center. Check for ticket availability.


The Skating Rink, sponsored by Speedway, will continue to operate Thursdays through Sundays. Operation will be weather-conditional. If it rains, the rink will close as it would need to be resurfaced. Light snow will not stop skating.

“Safety is the most important thing to us,” said Kelly.

The Simunye Carol Sing that was originally scheduled for Dec. 5 was canceled due to the weather and rescheduled for 5 to 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 18. The event is for the community to sing with musical accompaniment at the esplanade by the city Christmas tree. The event is free and will include baked goods, cocoa and cider.

For more information on Holiday in the City activities, go to

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