November 18, 2022

Pre-pandemic crowds expected back for Circle of Lights

Downtown Indy ready for annual celebration. (Jill Sheridan WFYI)

Downtown Indy ready for annual celebration. (Jill Sheridan WFYI)

The Circle of Lights celebration to kick off the holiday season in Indianapolis is expected to bring pre-pandemic size crowds back to Monument Circle.

The annual event was canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic. Last year, while no official capacity restrictions were in place, fewer people attended the lighting of the circle.

Downtown Indy Inc. President and CEO Taylor Schaffer said they are ready for full crowds that have topped 100,000 for the event that’s always held the Friday evening after Thanksgiving.

“We’re so pleased to welcome central Indiana back to the heart of Indianapolis,” Schaffer said.

The footprint of the event has changed including a different position for the stage on the southside of the circle. Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Major Joshua Gisi said crowd safety plans are in place.

“With more spectators comes more public safety officials,” Gisi said. “You should expect to see an increase in police presence in and around Monument Circle as well as downtown.”

Commander Phil Burton, with IMPD Downtown District, said people should feel comfortable while visiting downtown.

“The downtown is really safe,” Burton

The more than 4,700 LED lights on Monument Circle will remain lit until Jan. 13.

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