Traditions abound during the holiday season and Light Up Lakewood is no exception. Both the popular community event itself, and many of the festivities comprising it, are woven into the framework of many Lakewoodites’ holiday rituals.
Here’s our list of the top 10 traditions associated with Light Up Lakewood 2018, which is presented by LakewoodAlive and sponsored by First Federal Lakewood. This festive community event takes place Saturday, December 1, in Lakewood’s downtown district.
10. Holiday Market
Lakewood’s historic Masonic Temple is the site of the Holiday Market (formerly Vendor Village), which presents a prime opportunity for attendees to experience unique product offerings from area merchants while staying warm. It’s a perfect change-of-pace from all the festivities taking place outside along Detroit Avenue.
With beautiful gray-and-white coats and distinctive eyes, Siberian Huskies always represent a hit at Light Up Lakewood. These intelligent canines flourish in wintry weather and in some ways have become synonymous with Lakewood’s annual holiday festival.
8. Lakewood Public Library
Lakewood’s crown jewel of a downtown library plays an integral role in making Light Up Lakewood a favorite holiday event. Library visitors can enjoy a host of musical performances, as well as a visit from Santa Claus. It’s the Light Up Lakewood epicenter for crafts and other children-centered activities.
7. King and Queen Ceremony
As a prelude to the day’s main events, a King and Queen of Light Up Lakewood get crowned at 3 p.m. at Plantation Home, which has served as the longtime sponsor of this tradition. This prestigious honor for two high school juniors comes with a scholarship, as well as recognition during the Holiday Parade and Lighting Ceremony for their service to the community.
6. The Grinch/Buddy The Elf
You’re a popular one, Mr. Grinch. He and Buddy The Elf are the ultimate crowd-pleasers at Light Up Lakewood. Both stroll along Detroit Avenue as admirers flock for greetings and photo opportunities. And as Buddy likes to say, “The best way to spread holiday cheer is singing loud for all to hear.”
5. The Parade
Who doesn’t love a parade? Lakewoodites come out in droves to observe all the pageantry as Light Up Lakewood’s Holiday Parade makes its way down Detroit Avenue from Manor Park Avenue to Lakewood Public Library.
4. “Flipping the Switch” at the Lighting Ceremony
The Lighting Ceremony at City Center Park provides a treat for all ages. When Santa Claus, Buddy The Elf and the “Why I Love Lakewood” essay contest winner flip the big red switch, the areas surrounding the Main Stage become illuminated with holiday lights.
3. Fireworks Show
There’s something special about watching flashes of brilliant color splash across the December sky above the rooftops of Downtown Lakewood. The Fireworks Show represents a feast for the eyes and a fitting culmination to LakewoodAlive’s signature community event.
2. Celebrating Lakewood’s Vibrancy
Lakewood is chock-full of community vibrancy, and perhaps no single event better illustrates this than Light Up Lakewood. Thousands from across the region will attend, yet you’ll repeatedly bump into people you know while you collectively enjoy a holiday-infused downtown setting.
1. Spending Time with Family and Loved Ones
At its core, the holiday season is about spending quality time with the people you love. As a free, family-friendly community event, Light Up Lakewood affords families and friends a perfect opportunity to connect for a special holiday experience. We hope to see you and your family on December 1.
For more information regarding Light Up Lakewood 2018, please visit LakewoodAlive.org/LightUpLakewood.
Light Up Lakewood is generously supported by the following sponsors:
Beer Garden Sponsor:
Lakewood City Center
Photo Booth Sponsor:
Eric Lowrey and Chris Bergin, Berkshire Hathaway/Lucien Realty
King and Queen Scholarship Sponsor:
MLSound Design, LLC.