View Our Light Up Lakewood Photo Album
(Photos by Judie Vegh/OyVegh Photography)
Glittering lights illuminated Detroit Avenue, fireworks sparkled in the December sky and an aura of merriment filled the city’s downtown district. The holiday season is now in full-swing in Lakewood.
People from across the region visited Downtown Lakewood in droves on Saturday, December 7, to partake in the holiday tradition that is Light Up Lakewood. A large, festive crowd enjoyed LakewoodAlive’s 13th annual holiday community event celebrating the spirit of the season and the richness of the city’s vibrancy.
Sponsored by First Federal Lakewood, Light Up Lakewood 2019 kicked off with Lunch with Santa at Dewey’s Pizza followed by joyous musical performances at Lakewood Baptist Church. The festivities then shifted to Plantation Home, where Lakewood High School juniors Savannah Monroy and Mohamed Manaa were celebrated as Royalty Honorees of Light Up Lakewood. Savannah and Mohamed were both awarded $500 scholarships from owner David Stein in recognition of their outstanding service to the community.
Three features kicked off the evening’s main festivities. The Light Up Lakewood Beer Garden sponsored by Roundstone Insurance opened near the intersection of Detroit and Mars Avenues, welcoming guests to enjoy local craft beer in a unique, festive setting. The Holiday Market at the historic Lakewood Masonic Temple beckoned shoppers, and the Holiday Train sponsored by Laskey Costello and Paisley Monkey began offering rides aboard this beautifully restored classic trackless train.
Crowd-pleasers Buddy The Elf and The Grinch highlighted the popular Holiday Parade, which included participants ranging from student organizations to huskies to, of course, Santa. Local favorite media personality Mark Nolan emceed both the Holiday Parade and the ensuing Lighting Ceremony, enhancing the already-festive atmosphere.
The Lighting Ceremony commenced at Lakewood City Center Park with remarks from Tom Fraser, CEO of First Mutual Holding Company – the parent company of First Federal Lakewood. A surprise announcement followed, providing the exciting news that The Cleveland Orchestra will perform a free concert at Lakewood Civic Auditorium on February 16. Three members of the Orchestra’s brass section delighted the crowd with holiday music.
After a crowning ceremony for Savannah and Mohamed, Zenovia Parkanzky – a fourth grader who won the Lakewood Chamber of Commerce’s “Why I Love Lakewood” essay contest – read her piece, and the Peddlers of Mirth performed holiday carols for the festive crowd.
Buddy, Santa and his elf joined Ruby to flip the big red switch and illuminate City Center Park before fireworks burst over the rooftops of Downtown Lakewood to culminate the joyful celebration.
The free, family-friendly community event also included musical performances at Lakewood Public Library, live music courtesy of The Sellouts, outdoor carolers and musicians, DJs, ice carvings, free hot chocolate, food trucks and children’s games.
“It truly takes a village to orchestrate a volunteer-driven event the magnitude of Light Up Lakewood,” said Ian Andrews, Executive Director for LakewoodAlive. “We’re extremely grateful to the City of Lakewood, First Federal Lakewood, our Light Up Lakewood Committee, our partner organizations and businesses, our sponsors and the numerous volunteers who made this wonderful community celebration possible.”
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
Cleveland Clinic Lakewood Family Health Center
Royalty Scholarship Sponsor:
Good Soil Lutheran Ministries
Lakewood Anglican Church
Lakewood Catholic Academy