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Kick Off the Season in Style!
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Saturday, November 30, 2013
11 AM - 8 PM
downtown Lowell

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Parade Floats
Mayor's Award: Girl Scout Troop 60737
Most Festive: Greater Lowell Technical High School
City Manager's Community Organization Award: Girl Scout Troop 85242/74429

6th Annual Hot Chocolate Competition
First Place: Sweet Lydia's (160 Merrimack Street)
Second Place: Brew'd Awakening Coffeehaus (61 Market Street)
Third Place: Rosie's Cafe (10 Hurd Street)

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Ring in the holidays in downtown 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! 

> FREE parking from 10 AM - 12 midnight at the John & Market Street Garages
View a
map of garage locations and information on street closures.

> Volunteer for City of Lights! 
CLICK HERE to sign up online. Make this year's event even more special and be a part of our Volunteer Team! All volunteers will receive special "Texting Gloves" as our thank you. Volunteers are needed for Photos with Santa, Parade Assistance, at Live Performance Venues, and assisting with the Hot Chocolate Competition.

> Get in on the action -- be a City of Lights Sponsor!
Contact Deb Belanger at the Greater Merrimack Valley Convention & Visitors Bureau at or 978-459-6150, ext. 115.

> Compete in the 6th Annual Hot Chocolate Competition!
to sign up online. For questions, contact Chris Samaras in Special Events at

> Interested in Participating in the Parade? 
CLICK HERE to register online, or, download the Parade Registration and Guidelines and the Parade Release Form (PDF) and mail it to the Special Events Office.

 For more information, contact Chris Samaras in Special Events at

Our event schedule will continue to be updated-- please visit this page often! 

Holiday Express Village *
10 AM - 4 PM  |  New England Quilt Museum, 18 Shattuck Street
*Please note: Standard museum admission applies.  | See the New England Quilt Museum's Holiday Express Village, a panorama of quilted houses and shops and a working model train! Open for viewing during regular museum hours.

Childrens' Shopping Day at the Pollard Memorial Library
Pollard Memorial Library (Ground Floor Meeting Room), 401 Merrimack Street
10 AM - 1 PM  |  Kids ages 4-14 years only
1 PM - 2 PM  |  Members of the Friends of the Library only
2 PM - 4 PM  |  General Public welcomed
Enjoy one-stop shopping at the Pollard Library! Select from hundreds of donated gently-used items ranging from $1 to $5. And the kids get help wrapping each gift!

2nd Annual Holiday Shopping via the COOL Bus
11:30 AM - 3:30 PM throughout Downtown Lowell (round-trip loop)
Hop on the
Cultural Organization of Lowell's COOL Bus and visit local art gallery and museum gift shops where you'll discover one-of-a-kind handcrafted gifts and unique artwork for any budget, only available here in the Mill City!

Particpating Galleries, Museums and other locations:

1. The ALL Gallery and Gates Block Studios
2. American Textile History Museum
3. Brush Art Gallery & Studios
4. UnchARTed
5. Loading Dock Gallery at Western Avenue Studios
Whistler House Museum of Art
7. Zeitgeist Gallery

8. Lowell National Historical Park Visitor Center
9. New England Quilt Museum
0. Lowell City Hall (location for "Photos with Santa")
11. Appleton Mills Artist's Association just added!

Shop Local, Shop Lowell!
Sponsored by the Merrimack Valley Small Business Assistance Center
Click here to see the full campaign details! Show your support of Lowell's unique local businesses by exploring and shopping at the wonderful stores right here in our city! On Saturday November 30th as part of the “Put your $ where your heart is Lowell” Shop Local Day campaign, visit a participating location and enter to win a $100 gift certificate. Make a purchase and receive a FREE totebag (while supplies last).  

All Aboard" Tour of Lowell on The Trolley Express! - SOLD OUT
10 AM, 11 AM, 1 PM, 2 PM & 3 PM  | Departs from the Boott Cotton Mills Museum, 115 John Street
Take a festive trolley ride aboard a historic Lowell National Park Trolley and enjoy a craft activity in the Boott Cotton Mills Museum following the ride! We're sorry, but the Trolley Express is SOLD OUT -- reservations are no longer being accepted.

Holiday Art Exploratory for Kids
12:30 PM - 3 PM  | 
UnchARTed Gallery, 66 Merrimack Street
Make spectacular spin art creations and scratch art ornaments for your tree.  Get there early, this activity is only available while supplies last!

6th Annual Hot Chocolate Competition*
1 PM - 3 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 5 participating businesses for Lowell's 6th 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 Participants

1. Brew'd Awakening Coffeehaus  (61 Market Street)
"Breakfast Hot Chocolate" - Maple syrup hot chocolate with maple whipped cream and a little pancake on the side.
2. Cafe Pastiche  (11 Kearney Square)
"Brazilian Gourmet Hot Chocolate" - Made from a traditional Brazilian recipe.
3. Rosie's Cafe (10 Hurd Street)
"Mocha Madness" - Chocolate blended with rich coffee.
4. Sweet Lydia's (160 Merrimack Street)
"Peppermint Hot Chocolate with a Vanilla Marshmallow" - Homemade with both dark and white chocolates topped with Lydia's signature homemade vanilla marshmallow.
5. Time Out Cafe (72 Merrimack Street)
"Time Out Hot Chocolate"

Photos with Santa *
1 PM - 3 PM  |  Lowell City Hall, 375 Merrimack Street
* Please note: Cost is $2 per photo  |  Come get your holiday family photo taken with the star of the North Pole himself! This is Santa's busy season!  He has to close the line promptly at 3!

Lucky Bob's Interactive Magic and Juggling Extravaganza!
1:30 PM & 3:15 PM  | Lowell Five, 34 John Street
These 45 minute shows will wow everyone in the family.  Get there early to get a good seat!

Self-Guided Tours of St. Anne's Church
2 PM - 6 PM  |  St. Anne's Church, 8 Kirk Street
Visit this beautiful church in the heart of downtown Lowell -- self-guided tours will be available during these afternoon hours.

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 decorated floats ! Don't miss the official holiday lighting of downtown Lowell, City Hall, and the Wannalancit Smokestack Tree at the end of the parade!

Annual City of Lights Choral Concert at St. Anne's Church
6:30 PM  | St. Anne's Church, 8 Kirk Street
Wrap up the festive day and evening with a beautiful choral concert of a holiday-inspired program. Free admission (donations accepted) and open to the public!

Choral Program:
Part One - Lowell Gentlemen Songsters
Lowell's own traditional barbershop group performs a variety of holiday songs and traditional barbershop quartet-style pieces! The Gentlemen Songters are an all acapella vocal group. Learn more about the Songsters at

Part Two -  St. Anne's Parish Choir
Join the St. Anne's Parish Choir as they perform a contemporary contata entitled "Night of the Father's Love" by Pepper Choplin. The contata tells the story of Jesus' birth through music and narration and incorporates many familiar Christmas songs. Free admission, but donations will be gratefully accepted!

Street Closings and Parking
The street closings are as follows: Jackson Street to Central, from Central to Merrimack, Merrimack to Arcand and Arcand will be closed at 4 pm and will be closed until the end of the parade, usually 6~7.  Street parking is availble until 2pm.  Garage parking will be free from 6am-6pm.


  Special Thanks to our 2013 City of Lights Sponsors:
(as of 11/26/13)

Event Sponsors 


(in kind) 


Parade Sponsor


Band Sponsors


Specialty Unit Sponsors
Align Credit Union
Lowell Five Cent Savings Bank
Lowell Sun Publishing
UMass Lowell Inn and Conference Center

Business Partner Sponsors
980 WCAP – In Kind
American Auto Seat Cover - In Kind
American Textile History Museum
Eastern Bank
Enterprise Bank
Lowell Development & Financial Corporation
The Lowell Plan
Merrimack Valley Magazine – In Kind
Mike and Cindy Kuenzler’s All Sports Heroes Uniform, Sporting Goods and Promotions
Next Step Living
O'Connor Studio
Tsongas Center / Lowell Memorial Auditorium
Washington Savings Bank 

Friend Sponsors
Athenian Corner Restaurant and Lounge, Inc.
Boulay Law Firm, LLC
Brew'd Awakening Coffeehaus
Courtyard by Marriott, Lowell
Greater Lowell Chamber of Commerce
Lowell Festival Foundation
Lowell Spinners
McDonough Funeral Home
Merrimack Repertory Theatre
Soucy Industries

Parade Supporters
Albert E.J. Bergeron Insurance Agency
Lowell Catholic High School
Mills42 Federal Credit Union
The Old Court
Representative Tom Golden
Ricardo's Cafe Trattoria 

Special Thanks To
Plaza Limousine LTD (Official Transportation provider of the World Series)
American Auto Seat Cover Company
Lowell Department of Public Works Street Department for Santa’s sleigh



Visit our Live,
Work, Play Partners
Sponsors/Cool logo for header 25 KB.jpg

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