RECAP: 2013 Grand Illumination Ceremony

Despite the cold temperatures, the flurries made the perfect backdrop for an evening of celebration, giving and holiday cheer in Bicentennial Park. Thank you to all who came out for the Grand Illumination presented by T-Mobile ceremony – we could not have done it without all of you! See below for a recap of the evening’s best moments:

Bicentennial Park, Scioto Mile Promenade and City Hall came alive on December 6 with more than 200,000 LED holiday lights sparkling in a snowy winter wonderland during the Grand Illumination presented by T-Mobile. The evening ceremony, hosted by Mayor Michael B. Coleman, Councilmember Zachary M. Klein, Director Alan McKnight and ABC 6/FOX 28 Meteorologist Phil Kelly featured carols by the Columbus Children’s Choir and the magical arrival of Santa Claus, including an on-stage ‘breaking news’ segment and video as he flew over downtown Columbus and landed in Bicentennial Park. Despite the snow, families enjoyed the spectacular music and light show, especially after they donned their T-Mobile ‘holiday specs’ that transformed each point of light into a fun snowman image.

The Empty Bowls tent was a popular stop for hot chicken and dumpling soup provided by Milestone 229, with more than $1,000 raised for the Mid-Ohio Foodbank. Attendees also enjoyed activities provided by Franklin Park Conservatory, Local Matters, Mad River Mountain, BalletMet Columbus, COSI and the Mobile City Hall CBUS. After the ceremony everyone enjoyed cookies compliments of The Hills Market, coffee compliments of Cup O’ Joe and hot cocoa, while children visited with Santa and received a special holiday ornament. Attendees who braved the wintry weather could enter to win great prizes from our partners including T-Mobile Nokia Smartphones and service, BalletMet Columbus The Nutcracker tickets, CATCO A Christmas Carol tickets, Columbus Blue Jackets team-signed jersey, team-signed hockey stick and game tickets, Franklin Park Conservatory admission tickets, Mad River Mountain tubing or skiing tickets, Hollywood Casino dining gift cards, COSI general admission and Polar Express movie tickets, and Milestone 229 gift cards.

The lights will twinkle from Bicentennial Park, along the Scioto Mile Promenade to City Hall throughout the holiday season. The Scioto Mile Fountain presented by the American Electric Power Foundation has come alive for the winter with holiday imagery projected onto the fountain “blossom.” New this year, large illuminated spheres are suspended from each of the five fountain “halos.” Lights will twinkle nightly through January 11, 2014. Be sure to head down with family and friends this holiday season!

Grand Illumination would not be possible without the generosity of our lead sponsors and partners including T-Mobile Operated by Wireless Vision, The Scioto Mile Endowment Fund: Columbus Downtown Development Corporation, ABC 6 WSYX/FOX 28 WTTE, Live Technologies, Milestone 229, The Hills Market and Cup O’ Joe. We also extend a special thanks to Grand Illumination community partners including COSI, Franklin Park Conservatory, Local Matters, Columbus Blue Jackets, Mad River Mountain, CBUS – Mobile City Hall, CATCO, Girl Scout Cadette Troop 622, Hollywood Casino and Springfield ACME Electric.

VIEW PHOTOS OF THE 2013 CEREMONY


Holiday lights will twinkle until January 11

The Grand Illumination presented by T-Mobile continues throughout the holidays featuring decorations and lighting in Bicentennial Park, along the Scioto Mile Promenade and City Hall grounds. In keeping with the city’s green initiatives, all seasonal decorations feature energy efficient LED lighting, including more than 200,000 LED lights on 150 trees. The Scioto Mile Fountain presented by American Electric Power Foundation will come alive for the winter with holiday imagery projected onto the fountain “blossom.” New this year, the fountain will be illuminated with large lighted spheres suspended from each of the five fountain “halos.” The lights will twinkle until January 11, 2014.


THIS FRIDAY: Don’t miss the magic!

With the Grand Illumination presented by T-Mobile less than a week away, we are anxious to announce our exciting programming for the evening!

Join Mayor Michael B. Coleman and the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department on December 6 at 5PM for an evening of celebration, giving and holiday cheer in Bicentennial Park. Enjoy traditional carols performed by the Columbus Children’s Choir, a stunning light show illuminating all of Bicentennial Park and a special appearance by Santa Claus. Complimentary cookies courtesy of The Hills Market, coffee courtesy of Cup O’ Joe and hot cocoa will be available immediately following the ceremony.

This year, the Scioto Mile features over 200,000 holiday lights as well as dynamic seasonal imagery, creating a one-of-a-kind visual experience, projected onto the Scioto Mile Fountain presented by American Electric Power Foundation each night through January 11, 2014.

The evening could not take place without the support of our wonderful partners. Here is a quick look at some of their offerings during the Grand Illumination ceremony.

Community partners provide activities and giveaways including:

  • For a $10 donation, attendees are invited to select a piece of handcrafted pottery and receive a bowl of hearty chicken and dumpling soup courtesy of Milestone 229.
  • A handful of special bowls will be sold through silent auction throughout the evening, including bowls designed by Good Day Columbus personalities.
  • T-Mobile will be handing out special light refracting glasses (holiday specs) that will transform every point of light into a holiday character.
  • COSI‘s mascot, RATiO, will interact with attendees and offer COSI discount coupons.
  • The Franklin Park Conservatory will help children decorate holiday cookies and offer Conservatory admission coupons.
  • Local Matters will have a face painting station and feature a “Winter Veggieland.”
  • BalletMet Columbus’ Nutcracker and Clara will be on hand to meet and greet.
  • Mad River Mountain will have giveaways, ski literature and discount coupons.

Ceremony attendees can enter to win great prizes including:

EVENING SCHEDULE:
5:00 p.m. – Holiday Activities
6:00 p.m. – Ceremony and Light Show
6:30 p.m. – Meet & Greet with Santa

Visit the Grand Illumination website for more information!