The beloved holiday light parade, Columbus Festival of Lights, is returning to downtown Columbus, Indiana on Saturday, December 2. The parade will be bigger and brighter with 100 dazzling floats setting the streets aglow. Fun and festive events will be scheduled leading up to the parade, so plan to come early and soak in the season!

Festival of Lights photo by Shannon Malanoski


Before the Parade

crowd watching fireworks in sky

On Friday, December 1, start the weekend off with a bang at the QMIX Christmas Musical Fireworks at Ceraland Park. Bring chairs, blankets and find a cozy spot to watch the night sky burst with holiday spirit. The show starts at 6:30 pm.


Santa and kids

Then, on Saturday, December 2, come downtown for pictures with Santa at The Commons from noon until 2:30 pm. Bring your wish list and your favorite believers! Dress in your holiday best because Santa wants an elfie selfie!

making advent houses

From noon until 4 pm, join in the fun at The Commons where community organizations will be on site with holiday crafts and family activities. The Columbus East High School Cheer Team will be selling sweet treats and warm drinks.

Later, from 4 – 6 pm, join Columbus Parks and Rec for outdoor Reindeer Games in the 700 block of Washington Street. All are welcome, especially those with shiny red noses!

Centra’s Parking Lot Party will be happening from 2:30-5:30 on the 500 block of Washington Street.

The Tony Stewart Foundation will have “Sleigh Races” from 2-5 on 4th Street.

And, look for multiple refreshment stations during the day as well as multiple downtown merchants hosting their own events.



Festival of Lights Parade – the main event!

parade marchers on Washington Street - photo by Tony Vasquez

Festival of Lights photo by Mike Wolanin for The Republic

horse-drawn carriage, photo by Carla Clark, for The Republic Newspaper

Festival of Lights photo by Carla Clark for The Republic

Starting off at 6 pm, The Festival of Lights parade is back with more glitter and glow. Against the frosty winter night, the lights will sparkle, to create a magical winter wonderland.

The bands will march and glow in unison and whimsical and festive floats will glisten as they glide down Washington Street. Join the crowd adorned in silly Santa hats and reindeer antlers and experience a bright and shining holiday this year.

Fireworks after the parade will be viewable from the parade route, produced by RE/MAX Real Estate Professionals and Zaharakos – immediately following the parade.

photo by Hadley Fruits for Landmark Columbus Foundatonj

City Hall photo by Hadley Fruits for Landmark Columbus Foundation

festival band marching with flutes

Festival of Lights photo by Tony Vasquez