The Loveland Downtown District welcomes Loveland residents and surrounding communities to visit downtown for the return of their annual Festival of Lights event on Friday, November 19 from 5-8 pm along 4th Street from Railroad Avenue to Lincoln Avenue.
Festival of Lights is the official kickoff to the holiday season with a hometown festival and lighting of a 25-foot Christmas tree in front of the historic Rialto Theater. The celebration also marks the debut of holiday lighting that will illuminate several blocks of downtown through February 2022.
“After having to cancel the event in 2020 due to COVID-19, we are so excited to bring back Festival of Lights for 2021. We welcome the community to come visit, enjoy all our downtown has to offer and get into the holiday spirit!” said Sean Hawkins, Executive Director of the Loveland Downtown District.
The community event is free to attend and will feature two stages with live music and entertainment from Vi “The Fiddler” Wickam, Guerrilla Fanfare Brass Band, Loveland Classical Schools choir, and Lighthouse Dance.
Santa and Mrs. Claus will make a grand entrance in a shiny new Ford Bronco “sleigh” with special arrival festivities on the Main Stage at 5 pm followed by a traditional tree lighting ceremony with Ebenezer Scrooge at 7:30 pm.
Attendees can get started on local holiday shopping at the many independently owned downtown retailers and boutiques, with select stores staying open late. Shoppers can also peruse a pop-up holiday art market by The Valentine Flea featuring local makers, artists, and handmade and vintage vendors.
Entertainment for all ages will be spread throughout the festival with street performers, food vendors, kids’ art activities, free carriage rides to and from “Lights at the Lagoon” at Civic Center Foote Lagoon, and live reindeer from The Jessen Reindeer Ranch. Attendees can also enjoy s’mores and hot cocoa from Meals on Wheels of Loveland & Berthoud, craft beer from Loveland Aleworks and Crow Hop Brewing Co., and wine from OBC Wine Project by Odell Brewing Co. Visitors are encouraged to book reservations to drink and dine at downtown restaurants, bars, and breweries before and after the event.