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“Circle of Lights” Celebration on Monument Circle, Nov. 24, 2017 @indydt

October 31, 2017 1 comment
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Monument Circle during the holiday season.
AroundIndy.com staff photo, (c) 2015, all rights reservd.

By Jennifer Hanson
Downtown Indy, Inc.

INDIANAPOLIS – For 55 years, thousands of spectators have gathered Downtown at Monument Circle to see the most spectacular holiday display illuminate. Central Indiana’s most beloved tradition is here again. Downtown Indy, Inc.’s Circle of Lights® presented by IBEW #481 will take place the day after Thanksgiving, Friday, Nov. 24, 2017.

“The Electrical Workers of IBEW #481 are thrilled to be the presenting partner of Circle of Lights,” said Steve Menser, IBEW #481 business manager. “The tradition is a wonderful opportunity to showcase the standards, skill and capability of the union electrical industry along with our community commitment. We invite all Hoosiers to kick off their holiday celebration with us!”

NEW THIS YEAR: The decorations on the Soldiers & Sailors Monument will look familiar – 52 garland strands with 4,784 colored lights, strung from the top of the Monument to its base.

However, all of the strands are new this year including the use of LED bulbs for the first time ever. These improvements are the first phase of the Keeping Spirits Bright capital campaign with a goal to raise $2 million to further enhance and keep this beloved tradition alive.

The Monument will continue to be surrounded with 26 larger-than-life toy soldiers and sailors and 26 peppermint sticks.

More than 100,000 spectators are expected for the FREE ceremonial lighting and holiday kickoff on Friday, Nov. 24. Entertainers chosen from statewide video auditions will share the stage with Sandi Patty, host of the Indianapolis Symphony’s IPL Yuletide Celebration.

Festivities begin at 6 p.m. with the live televised show running from 7 – 8 p.m. on (NBC) WTHR-13. The Monument light-up will occur at approximately 7:55 p.m.

And who gets to “flip the switch?” Each year, a lucky child is chosen from the Carson’s Coloring Contest to help Santa illuminate the night.

To conclude the evening, watch the sky for a spectacular fireworks finale.

Millions of sightseers will take in this brilliant spectacle throughout the holiday season, lit through early January. Travelocity named the Circle of Lights® one of the top five “must-see Christmas trees” in the nation. USA Today also listed the Circle of Lights® as one the “10 Best Holiday Attractions.”

BONUS: After the Monument is lit, head to Carson’s Department Store for FREE Selfies with Santa from 8 – 10 p.m.

As the presenting partner of Circle of Lights®, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) #481 represents more than 3,000 electrical workers. IBEW #481 provides the needed expertise, highly trained workforce, safety and dedication to help build many of Central Indiana’s premiere education, health care, utility and logistics projects. Visit www.ibew481.org.

Circle of Lights® is an official program of Downtown Indy, Inc. which focuses on three areas: development, management and marketing to advance Downtown as a great place to live, learn, work and play. Visit www.downtownindy.org for more information or call 317-237-2222.

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Halloween ZooBoo at the Indianapolis Zoo, Oct. 5-29, 2017 @indianapoliszoo

October 2, 2017 1 comment
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Indianapolis Zoo in White River State Park in Indianapolis, Indiana.
AroundIndy.com staff photo, (c) 2017, all rights reserved.

By Carla Knapp
Indianapolis Zoo

INDIANAPOLIS — Not-so-frightful animals, pumpkins galore and a whimsical village to explore — the Indianapolis Zoo has conjured some fantastic new ways for families to celebrate Halloween during the reimagined ZooBoo presented by Central Indiana Honda Dealers.

Now beginning its 36th year, this beloved fall event includes four extra days for visitors to enjoy the spooktacular festivities. ZooBoo kicks off Oct. 5 and continues every Thursday through Sunday all month long. The Zoo opens daily at 9am, so guests are encouraged to come early to visit their favorite animals, then event activities go on from 2-7pm.

With the all-new experiences in Pumpkin Town presented by Macy’s, this year’s ZooBoo is bigger than ever before. Under the cover of the Bicentennial Pavilion awaits a magical town where little witches and goblins can discover fun all around. There’s nothing to fear from encounters with fascinating critters, including toads, turtles, rats and cats. In partnership with the Humane Society of Indianapolis, the cats will be available for adoption following ZooBoo.

Inside the Candy Corn Factory presented by Metro PCS, the mirror maze hides thrills and smiles around every corner. A friendly witch offers potions to transform special treats. Guests can also stop in at a crafty Pumpkin School, dance to Halloween music and try a few rolls of Pumpkin Bowling presented by Universal Windows Direct.

More Halloween fun is waiting elsewhere around the Zoo, too. Children can dash down Broomstick Alley presented by State Farm. Plus, the Zoo’s rides also feature a wild twist, like the Spooktacular Train Ride and the Round-Go-Merry — the carousel that moves in reverse.

Costumes are encouraged and kids can bring a reusable bag to collect a few goodies along the Trick-or-Treat Trail presented by Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital at St. Vincent, located in Plains. Allergy-friendly snacks are available upon request, and all Halloween treats are either palm-oil free, contain sustainable palm oil or are produced by a member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil, which is working to make orangutan-friendly palm oil readily available.

Even the Zoo’s animals get into the spirit of the season. Mild fall temperatures mean the animals will be out and active, providing the perfect backdrop for all the festivities. Plus, visitors can enjoy extra chats, Halloween-themed animal enrichment and special activities, like the messy fun of the Elephant Pumpkin Smash presented by Sam’s Club.

ZooBoo is free for Zoo members and included with regular admission. Discount tickets are available at area Donatos and Indiana Members Credit Union locations.

For more information, visit http://indyzoo.com, or call 317-630-2001.