Greetings, first-time Light Up Lakewood attendee.  You’re in for a real treat.

Don’t be surprised if your enthusiasm upon reaching Detroit Avenue nears Buddy The Elf levels.  Light Up Lakewood – a fun-filled fixture within Lakewood’s downtown district each December for the last decade – represents one of the preeminent holiday events in Northeast Ohio.  If it’s not the most wonderful time of the year, it comes awfully close.

But before you join 25,000 of your closest friends at LakewoodAlive’s dazzling community festival on Dec. 3, there are some things you should know.  Consider this cheat sheet a gift to be unwrapped prior to the first Saturday in December.  Here’s your beginner’s guide to attending Light Up Lakewood 2016.

Light Up Lakewood 2016 Map

(Click here to view a downloadable version of this map.)
(Map design by Convey360)

Who to Bring
Light Up Lakewood is family-friendly and open to everyone – all kids from 1 to 92 (and older, for that matter).  So bring your spouse, grandparent, child, sibling, uncle, friend, insurance agent, mail carrier and cousin twice removed.  Since Light Up Lakewood has a large regional draw, it’s worthwhile to invite your out-of-town friends to come experience the City of Lakewood and this festive occasion.

Free to attend!

Arrival Time
So much merriment to spread, so little time.  Light Up Lakewood represents a day-long celebration that starts with Lunch with Santa at Dewey’s Pizza at 11 a.m. and doesn’t end until the music stops playing at 8 p.m.  Guests are welcome to attend everything or stick with the main festivities taking place between 4 and 8 p.m.  Visit ahead of time to plan which events you wish to attend.

With thousands of Light Up Lakewood attendees anticipated, parking spots near Downtown Lakewood will be in high-demand.  Thankfully, Lakewood has numerous side streets in close proximity offering free, convenient street parking.  Free parking will also be available at the INA Building’s parking garage accessible from Warren Road.  It’s important to note that motorized traffic on Detroit Avenue between Lakeland and Marlowe will be closed on Dec. 3 starting at 3 p.m.  Provided the weather cooperates, walking or biking to Light Up Lakewood also represent fine transportation options.

Light Up Lakewood 2016

Light Up Lakewood is free and family-friendly.  (Photo Credit: BiG Photography)

Staying Warm
If Light Up Lakewood 2016 proves to be wintry, there are various strategies at your disposable for staying warm as you partake in the spirit of the season.  Head indoors at Vendor Village located within the Lakewood Masonic Temple, or take in a performance at Barton Senior Center or Lakewood Public Library.  For those who opt to stay outdoors, several hot chocolate vending stands will be available, as well as a warming station at Lakewood Presbyterian Church.

Social Media
LakewoodAlive will be posting to its Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts throughout the duration of Light Up Lakewood.  Guests are encouraged to use hashtag #LightUpLakewood for their own social media.  Don’t be afraid to go live on Facebook during the Holiday Parade, Lighting Ceremony and Fireworks Show.

Be sure to bring your appetite with you to Light Up Lakewood.  The many terrific restaurants and eateries contained within the event footprint will be open for business throughout the festivities.  Additionally, a collection of food trucks will be on-site along Detroit Avenue.

There’s truly something for everyone at Light Up Lakewood 2016.

Schedule of Events:

  • 11 am – 1 pm – Lunch with Santa at Dewey’s Pizza
  • 11:30 am – 4:30 pm – Ongoing performances at Barton Center
  • 3 pm – King and Queen Ceremony at Plantation Home
  • 4 pm – Festival Kickoff with Vendor Village and Food Court opening
  • 5 pm – Start of Parade at Manor Park and Detroit Avenue
  • 5:30 – 8:30 pm – Santa visits Lakewood Public Library
  • 5:30 – 8 pm – Ongoing performances at Lakewood Public Library
  • 6 – 6:30 and 7 – 8 pm – Performance by THE SELLOUTS
  • 6:30 pm – Lighting Ceremony at Main Stage at City Center Park
  • 6:45 pm – Fireworks Show
Light Up Lakewood 2016

The holiday parade commences at 5 pm. (Photo Credit: The Lakewood Citizen)

Barton Senior Center Performance Schedule:

  • 11:30 – 11:50 am – Lakewood Catholic Academy Band
  • 12 – 12:20 pm – Harding Singers
  • 12:30 – 12:50 pm – Garfield Jazzy Jam Holiday Ensemble
  • 1 – 1:20 pm – Harding Singers Too
  • 1:30 – 1:50 pm – Horace Mann
  • 2 – 2:20 pm – Harding Middle School Jazz Band
  • 3 – 3:20 pm – Garfield Music Crew
  • 3:30 – 3:50 pm – Dance Lakewood
  • 4 – 4:20 pm – LHS Roosevelt Elementary

Lakewood Public Library Schedule:

  • 9 am – 5 pm – Friends Holiday Public Book Sale (Book Sale Room)
    6 – 8:30 pm – Holiday Crafts & Activities (Multipurpose Room)
  • 5:30 – 5:50 pm – Lincoln Elementary Singers (New Books Room)
  • 5:30 – 5:55, 6:35 – 7:00, 7:15 – 7:45 pm – Beck Center for the Arts Music Makers (Children’s Section-South)
  • 5:30 – 8:30 pm – Santa Visits/Photos (Bring Your Camera)
  • 6:00 – 6:30 pm – Stringin’ Along Middle School Strings (Children’s Section-South)
  • 6:15 – 6:30 pm – Vive/Fourtes (New Books Room)
  • 6:30 – 7:00 pm – Four Seasons (New Books Room)
  • 6:30 – 8:00 pm – H2O’s “Twigbee-Style” Shop (Homework Room)
    6:30 – 8:30 pm – Story Time – every half hour
  • 7:15 – 7:45 pm – LHS Chamber Choir (Atrium.)

Other Entertainment/Activities:

  • Cleveland Metroparks NatureTracks
  • DJ
  • Ice Carvings
  • Live Huskies
  • Face Cut-Out Photos
  • Face Painting
  • Green Screen Photo Booth
  • Ice Bowling
  • Kids Games
  • Life-Sized Games
  • Ohio Mobile Gaming Truck
  • Pedi Cab Rides
Light Up Lakewood 2016

The Fireworks Show culminates Light Up Lakewood. (Photo Credit: The Lakewood Observer)

Watching the Parade

The Holiday Parade will step off from Manor Park at 5 p.m. and proceed west on Detroit Avenue, ending in front of Lakewood Public Library.  It’s recommended to find your parade-viewing spot early and to consider bringing a lawn chair if you think you’ll be more comfortable sitting down.  Many merchant window-fronts on Detroit Avenue also provide prime indoor vantage points.

Watching the Lighting Ceremony and Fireworks Show
The Lighting Ceremony represents one of the highlights of Light Up Lakewood, and it’s taking place at a new location this year.  The Main Stage serving as the site of the Lighting Ceremony will be at City Center Park in front of the Marc’s Shopping Plaza.  Arrive there early to secure that photo-worthy view.  Many of the best vantage points for viewing the Fireworks Show are also located within this general vicinity, and it’s recommended to take in this culmination to Light Up Lakewood from in front of City Center Park, Lion & Blue or Rozi’s Wine House.

For more information regarding Light Up Lakewood 2016, please visit

Light Up Lakewood is generously supported by the following sponsors: First Federal Lakewood, City of Lakewood, Lakewood City Center, Convey360, Discount Drug Mart, Lakewood Anglican Church, Plantation Home, Roundstone Insurance, The University of Akron Lakewood, Barton Senior Center, Dewey’s Pizza, IMCD US, Lakewood Hardware, Lakewood Masonic Temple, Lakewood Public Library, Lakewood Catholic Academy, Beck Center for the Arts, Burgers 2 Beer Lakewood, Dollar Bank and Modelo Dental Care.