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.