Holiday Lights | December 6 – January 11

The Grand Illumination presented by T-Mobile continues throughout the holidays and features decorations and lighting in Bicentennial Park, along the Scioto Mile Promenade and City Hall grounds. Lights will twinkle until January 11, 2014. 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 the 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.” Fountain light projections will occur nightly until January 11, 2014.

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About Empty Bowls

  • Empty Bowls is a local effort in an international fight against hunger.
  • In the past 15 years, Empty Bowls has raised over $150K for the Mid-Ohio Foodbank.
  • Empty Bowls project is a collaborative effort between the Columbus Recreation & Parks Department, local churches, businesses and program sponsors.
  • Each year, Recreation & Parks Department staff, volunteers and partners of all ages produce hundreds of clay bowls, which are fired and glazed for events.
  • 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.
  • Check presentation to the Mid-Ohio Foodbank will take place during the Grand Illumination ceremony.
  • All proceeds from the Empty Bowls project will benefit the Mid-Ohio Foodbank

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Special Thanks To:

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Grand Illumination Ceremony

Mayor Michael B. Coleman invites you to celebrate the holiday season and Grand Illumination of Bicentennial Park and the Scioto Mile on Friday, December 6, 2013.

Enjoy traditional carols, a stunning light show illuminating all of Bicentennial Park and a special appearance by Santa Claus! In the spirit of giving, support the Empty Bowls project by purchasing a piece of handcrafted pottery and receive a bowl of hearty chicken and dumpling soup compliments of Milestone 229. All proceeds benefit the Mid-Ohio Foodbank.

Complimentary cookies courtesy of The Hills Market, coffee courtesy of Cup O’ Joe and hot cocoa will be available immediately following the ceremony.


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


  • Attendees can support the Mid-Ohio Foodbank by purchasing a piece of handcrafted pottery from the Empty Bowls project. Donors will also enjoy hearty chicken and dumpling soup compliments of Milestone 229.
  • 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.

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Prizes from Partners

Lucky attendees who entered who entered the drawing at the ceremony won great prizes including:

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