Allentown will welcome holiday season visitors to the city with “Allentown Lights” events from November 28 – December 31, 2015.
“Allentown Lights” will feature light decorations and displays at key locations throughout the city. It replaces the popular “Lights in the Parkway” event for the 2015 season. Repairs being made to a retaining wall in Lehigh Parkway will make it impossible for two-lane traffic to enter the parkway safely for viewing the annual light show.
At no charge, “Allentown Lights” will cover Hamilton Street from 10th to Sixth streets, the Arts Park, the Arts Walk, Cedar Beach Park, and Andre Reed Park. “Allentown Lights” is open from 5pm-9pm nightly from November 28 – December 31, with the exception of December 25, when the lights displays will be closed for the holiday.
In addition to festive decorations, “Allentown Lights” will feature a myriad of family-friendly events and programs throughout the holiday season, including beloved holiday movies, concerts, youth activities, delicious food and beverage items and more.
The city partnered with local arts and downtown organizations to create an interactive calendar of all events happening during the “Allentown Lights” program in close proximity to the displays. Visit www.allentownpa.gov/allentownlights to view the calendar and plan your visit to Allentown!
Families will be able to come and ice skate for free from dawn to 9pm at the city’s two synthetic ice skating rinks which will be set-up at Cedar Beach Park and Andre Reed Park. On site skate rentals will be available on Thursdays and Fridays from 5p–9pm and Saturdays and Sundays from 12pm–9pm. Skate rentals cost $2, with proceeds benefitting local non-profit organizations.
Horse-drawn carriage rides will be available at 9th & Hamilton Street on Thursday evenings from 5pm-9pm and at Cedar Beach Park on Fridays – Saturdays from 5p–9pm. The city has teamed up with Bethlehem Carriage Company to offer both classic horse-drawn carriage rides as well as magical rides with Cinderella in her carriage. Reservations are required, and carriage rides begin at $10 per person. Call 610-437-7757 to book your horse-drawn carriage ride today!
The Department of Parks & Recreation is hosting a holiday movie series including six family-friendly movie nights. The season kicks off with “Frozen” on Friday, December 4 in Cedar Beach Park, beginning at 7pm. A special meet & greet with characters Ana and Elsa is scheduled for 6pm. The series continues with “The Polar Express” on Wednesday, December 9 at 7pm at Civic Theatre; “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” and “Frosty the Snowman” on Saturday, December 12 at 5:15pm in the Arts Park; “A Christmas Story” on Saturday, December 19 at 4pm & 6pm at the Arts Park; and “Elf” on Saturday, December 26 at 4:30 & 6:30pm at Cedar Beach Park.
In addition to showing holiday movies, the Allentown Lights program will also feature concerts and special events. A special “Feliz Navidad” celebration is planned for Sunday, December 13 from 3:30 – 6pm at the Arts Park, featuring a bilingual Santa, music, food, and dancing. Holiday concerts are scheduled for Wednesday, December 23 with James Supra Blues Band, Sara Ayers and Tim Harakal beginning at 6pm at PPL Plaza, and Wednesday, December 30 at 6pm in Cedar Beach Park, featuring UUU Party Band. Strolling performers and carolers will grace Hamilton Street and the Arts Walk on weekend evenings throughout the program. A special Jingle Bar Hop event will be held on Saturday, December 19, hosted by City Center. The pub crawl event begins at 3pm at the Allentown Brew Works.
Downtown Allentown will host a special “Black Friday Preview Night” when the light displays will only be turned on in the Arts Park, Arts Walk, and Hamilton Street on Friday, November 27 from 5p-9pm. City Center is hosting countdown nights to the start of the Allentown Lights program as well as the lights on Two and Three City Center changing colors on Monday, November 23 and Tuesday, November 24, respectively.
Businesses along Hamilton Street and the Arts Walk are participating in a Storefront Window Decorating Contest as part of the Allentown Lights program, hosted by City Center. Each business selected a holiday song to theme their decorations. Customers can vote for their favorite display at www.facebook.com/citycenterlehighvalley, in-store, or through an online survey. Pick-up a contest passport at any participating location, guess five window songs correctly, and drop your passport at any participating location to enter to win tickets for 17 to a suite at PPL Center for a Phantoms game!
In continuing the tradition of the 6th Annual Lights in the Parkway 5K & Walk, the city will again partner with Run Lehigh Valley to offer this unique opportunity to enjoy the displays on Wednesday, November 25. The course will be set-up in the area surrounding Cedar Beach Park. Runners will step-off at 7pm with the walkers following. Interested persons can register at www.runlehighvalley.com. Space is limited, and no race-day registration is available, so reserve your spot today!
Allentown’s Tree Lighting Ceremony, hosted by the Hamilton District Main Street Program and the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce, will be held on Thursday, December 3 from 4pm–7pm at PPL Plaza pocket park. The Allentown Lights program will culminate in the New Year’s Eve Celebration at Seventh & Hamilton Street on Thursday, December 31 beginning at 10pm.
The City of Allentown’s Parks Department is the creative talent behind “Lights in the Parkway” each year. Parks supervisor Jason Hertz and his crew utilized their lighting expertise to adapt the displays to alternative locations to truly make Allentown electric this holiday season!
“Many families make a visit to “Lights in the Parkway” a must during the holidays,” said Mayor Ed Pawlowski. “I encourage all families to come out, park the car and enjoy a walk along this exciting take-off on the traditional event. I know they’ll be thrilled by all that Allentown has to offer!”
Sponsors and partners of “Allentown Lights” include City Center Lehigh Valley, Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce, Hamilton District Main Street Program, Baum School of Art, Miller Symphony Hall, Allentown Art Museum, Civic Theatre of Allentown, Community Music School, Repertory Dance Theatre, Liberty Bell Museum, Renaissance Hotel, Allentown Parking Authority, B104, Cat Country 96, Fox Sports 1470, iHeart Media, La Ola Radio, 790 WAEB, 100.7 WLEV, and 95.1 WZZO.
The city continues to commit to using energy-efficient LED lights in all new displays, and has converted many of the existing displays to LED for the 2015 season. LED lights use 85% less energy than traditional bulbs and last about four times longer.
The “Allentown Lights” website is www.allentownpa.gov/AllentownLights, and the facebook page is www.facebook.com/AllentownLights. Use the hashtag #AllentownLights when posting on facebook or Instagram.
For more information on “Allentown Lights” please contact Christy Alvord, Recreation & Events Coordinator for the City of Allentown at 610-437-7757 or through e-mail at Christy.Alvord@allentownpa.gov.