City of Lights 2016
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Saturday, November 26, 2016
in Downtown Lowell
. . .

Ring in the holidays in Lowell and join us for this year's City of Lights Parade and Holiday Celebration! Take the afternoon to stroll the city streets and enjoy live performances, holiday shopping, photos with Santa, AND the crowd favorite, our Annual Hot Chocolate Competition! The daytime fun leads to the nighttime extravaganza -- The City of Lights Parade and City Hall Lighting -- which marks the City's official start to the holiday season! 

. . .


Make this year's event even more special and be a part of our Volunteer Team! Volunteers are needed for Photos with Santa, Safari Rides, Parade Assistance, at Live Performance Venues, and assisting with the Hot Chocolate Competition.

Email Roberto Dei at​ to sign up, or call 978-674-4260.


Be a City of Lights sponsor!

Contact Deb Belanger at the Greater Merrimack Valley Convention & Visitors Bureau at or call 978-459-6150, x115.


If want to register to be in the parade, CLICK HERE!​


Hot chocolate competition registration coming soon.


For more information, contact Henri Marchand in Special Events at



This page will continue to be updated - check back!


Here is the list of events from last year's City of Lights:

Window Decorating Contest
Visit these downtown locations and vote for the People's Choice award! Ballots available at participating locations.
Eleni’s Fashions and Tailoring, 41 Bridge Street
Indigo Salon and Spa, 165 Merrimack Street
Bishops Legacy Restaurant, 143 Merrimack Street
Little Delights Bakery, 132 Merrimack Street
Humanity, 128 Merrimack Street
Hypertext Café & Bookstore, 107 Merrimack Street
Wicked Staffing Solutions, 45 Middle Street
Eyeful Beauty, 33 Middle Street
Fuse Bistro, 45 Palmer Street
Persona, 51 Market Street
Brew’d Awakening, 61 Market Street
Salon City, 173 Market Street
Daley Design/RAW Furnishings, 189 Market Street
The Social Pup, 34 Jackson Street

Children’s Shopping Day at the Pollard Library

Pollard Memorial Library, 401 Merrimack Street
10AM - 1PM | Kids ages 4-14 only
1PM - 2PM  | Kids ages 4-14 and members of Friends of the Library only
2PM - 4PM | General public welcome
Enjoy one-stop shopping at the Pollard Library!  Select from hundreds of donated gently-used items ranging from $1 to $5. All kids also get their gifts wrapped for them! 

Shopping tour on the COOL Bus

12 - 3 PM | See list of sites below
The Cultural Organization of Lowell's COOL Bus will stop at unique shopping locations, or simply ferry you around downtown to different activity locations. FREE of charge!

Participating Sites:
American Textile History Museum, 304 Dutton Street
New England Quilt Museum, 18 Shattuck Street
Arts League of Lowell (ALL) Gallery, 307 Market Street
Ayer Lofts Art Gallery, 172 Middle Street
The Brush Art Gallery & Studios, 256 Market Street
Gallery Z, 167 Market Street
Mill No. 5, 250 Jackson Street
UnchARTed, 103 Market Street
** The bus will also stop at City Hall.

Holly Jolly Trolley
12 - 4 PM | Between the Boott Cotton Mills and the Visitor Center

Jump on the Lowell National Historical Park's "Holly Jolly Trolley," complete with Ranger Elves, music, and holiday decorations! The trolley will run continuously from the Boott Cotton Mills to the Visitor Center.  FREE event, no reservation required! 

NEW! Safari Rides with Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Lucy the Polar Bear, Maurice the Great Christmas Moose, and Sno-Cat the Siberian Tiger *
12:15 - 3:15 PM | JFK Plaza, Arcand Drive
Please note: Cost is $2 per ride  |  Kids and parents alike will love Safari Rides! Rudolph, Lucy, Maurice, and Sno-Cat will gladly take you on a stroll in the plaza, and can each carry 2 adults or 3 children.
See more photos on their website!
Sponsored by Lowell General Hospital & Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center.



Photos with Santa*

1 PM - 3 PM  |  Lowell City Hall, 375 Merrimack Street
*Please note: Cost is $1 per photo  |  Come get your holiday family photo taken with the star of the North Pole himself!  Keep in mind that this is Santa's busy season - He has to close the line promptly at 3!


Holiday Art Exploratory for Kids
1PM - 4PM | Lowell Makes, 115 Merrimack Street
Kids are invited to create their own spin art (while supplies last)!

7th Annual Hot Chocolate Competition*
2 PM - 4 PM  |  See below for the list of participants!
* Please note: Cost is 25 cents per 4oz sample  |  Take a tour of downtown Lowell and stop in to participating businesses for Lowell's 7th Annual Hot Chocolate Competition! Just 25 cents buys you a delicious sample of hot cocoa of all flavors and concoctions. Be sure to vote for your favorite -- ballots will be available at all participating businesses!

Hot Chocolate Competition Participants:

Sweet Lydia’s, 160 Merrimack Street
Brew’d Awakening Coffeehaus, 61 Market Street
Garcia Brogan’s Cantina, Pub, and Restaurant, 131 Middlesex Street
Rosie’s Café and Peak Coffee and Tea, 155 Middlesex Street, #1B
Cobblestones Restaurant, 91 Dutton Street

Festival of Wreaths - Contest and Raffle
2 - 7PM | Lowell Masonic Center, 79 Dutton Street
Stroll through the Masonic Center and soak in the creativity as you view several beautifully decorated wreaths donated by local organizations and individuals. Buy raffle tickets for your chance to take one of the wreaths home with you! Admission to this event is FREE. Sponsored by The Brush Art Gallery & Studios.

Bob Riordan's Magic Show
2 PM & 3 PM  | Lowell Telecommunications Corporation (LTC), 246 Market Street
These 40-45 minute shows will wow everyone in the family.  Get there early to get a good seat! Learn more about Bob's great performances by visiting​


Self-Guided Tours of St. Anne's Church
2 - 6 PM  | St. Anne's Church, 8 Kirk Street
Take a self-guided tour of St. Anne's Church, which was built in 1825 and is the oldest church in the city of Lowell.


Holiday Songs and Singalongs with Trish Boshco
3 - 6PM | Main Stage Area on Arcand Drive
Bring your best voice to sing along with Trish before and during the parade!

Warm FREE Treats at Mills42 Federal Credit Union
4 - 6PM | 83 Merrimack Street (Corner of Merrimack & John Streets)
Come in from the cold and enjoy FREE freshly popped popcorn and delicious warm apple cider, courtesy of  Mills42 Federal Credit Union​!

City of Lights Parade and City Hall Holiday Lighting
4:30 PM - 6:30 PM  |  Parade route starts on Jackson Street
Get your spot along the parade route, from Jackson Street to City Hall. Enjoy live music from the area's best marching bands and see a variety of brilliantly d​ecorated floats ! Don't miss the official holiday lighting of downtown Lowell, City Hall, and the Wannalancit Smokestack Tree at the end of the parade!

FREE Holiday Choral Concert
6:30 - 8 PM  |  St. Anne’s Church, 8 Kirk Street
Top off the evening with a variety of holiday songs with the Lowell Gentlemen Songsters​ and the St. Anne’s Choir. The Lowell Gentlemen Songsters will sing Christmas Favorites and other Barbershop tunes, and St Anne’s Choir will again present the Christmas Cantata “Mary Did You Know”.  This cantata was created around the popular Christmas song “Mary Did You Know” which was recorded by artists such as CeeLo Green, Clay Aiken, Kenny Rogers and Wynona Judd.  The Cantata contains many well known Christmas Carols as well as original music and mostly tells the story of Jesus’ birth through the eyes of Mary.

 Locations include:

Arts League of Lowell, 307 Market Street
Bishop's Legacy Restaurant, 143 Merrimack Street
Bon Vivant, Mill No. 5, 250 Jackson Street
Brush Art Gallery & Studios, 256 Market Street
Christian Hill Studios, 9 Central Street
Corn & Company, Mill No. 5, 250 Jackson Street
Cobblestones of Lowell, 91 Dutton Street
Downtown Lowell First Thursdays, 132 Merrimack Street
Farm Market, Mill No. 5, 250 Jackson Street
Gates Block Artists, 307 Market Street
Humanity boutique, 128 Merrimack Street
Indigo Salon & Day Spa, 165 Merrimack Street
Little Delights Bakery, 132 Merrimack Street
Lowell Makes, 135 Merrimack Street
Luna Theater, Mill No. 5, 250 Jackson Street
Nor'east Apparel, 34 Jackson Street
Persona Boutique, 51 Market Street
Red Antler Apothecary, Mill No. 5, 250 Jackson Street
Rosie's Cafe, 155 Middlesex Street #1B
Social Pup, 4 Jackson Street
Sweet Lydia's, 160 Merrimack Street
Van Gogh's Gear, 307 Market Street



 Event Sponsors



Trinity EMS logo.jpg

Winn Co Logo.jpg


Parade Sponsors
Jeanne D'Arc Credit Union Logo.jpg    Lowell Five Logo.jpg

LGH+FLO Logo.jpg

Cross Point Logo.jpg   EB Chartiable Foundation.png

Band Sponsors

Middlesex Logo.jpg   TUFTS logo.jpg

Specialty Unit Sponsors

Enterprise Bank
UMass Lowell Inn & Conference Center

Business Partner Sponsors
Align Credit Union
Athenian Corner Restaurant
Circle Health
F.E. Provencher Insurance, Inc.
Lowell Community Health Center
The Lowell Plan
The Lowell Spinners
Lowell Sun Publishing
O'Connor Studios
Sage Bank
State Representative Tom Golden
Tsongas Center/Lowell Memorial Auditorium

Friend Sponsors
Boulay Law Firm, LLC
Greater Lowell Chamber of Commerce
Lowell Festival Foundation
Mike and Cindy Kuenzler’s All Sports Heroes Uniforms, Sporting Goods, and Promotions
McDonough Funeral Home
Pridestar EMS
Owl Diner
Soucy Industries
Worthen House Cafe

Parade Supporters
Albert E.J. Bergeron Insurance Agency
Bishop's Legacy Restaurant
Brew'd Awakening Coffeehaus
Fuse Bistro
Greater Lowell Community Foundation
Lowell Housing Authority
Lowell City Councilor Corey Belanger
Lowell City Councilor Rita Mercier
Lowell City Councilor Danny Rourke
Mayor Rodney Elliott
Merrimack Repertory Theatre

Mills42 Credit Union
The Old Court​​​​