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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Springfield’s annual Festival of Lights will kick off at 5:30 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 22 at Jordan Valley Park with the Mayor's Treelighting Ceremony, followed by a Cardinals Christmas with fireworks at at Hammons Field. Mayor Bob Stephens, with help from first- and second-grade students, will signal the start of the holiday season by lighting a 33-foot Norway spruce, located in the park, east of the Mediacom Ice Park. The musical tree and surrounding park will be lit up with thousands of lights. Hundreds of school-aged children are expected to attend the tree-lighting ceremony, which will include live music, a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus, and a parade with Santa through Jordan Valley Park to Hammons Field, where the Springfield Cardinals will host a Cardinals Christmas. Children will be able to visit with Santa and enjoy hot chocolate and candy canes. The Cardinals event will end with a big bang: a fireworks show set to holiday music. Santa’s mailbox (a decked-out mailbox provided by the U.S. Postal Service) returns, on-site Saturday night only, for children to send their letters to Santa. Free parking is available at Mediacom Ice Park and Hammons Field. Convenient parking is also available for a fee at the Jordan Valley Car Park on Trafficway. The ice park, located at 635 E. Trafficway, will again offer free ice skating, 6-8 p.m. that evening. Skate rental is $2.50. If you’d like to take that special someone to dinner and watch the tree-lighting activities and fireworks from above, the “Illumination Celebration” at The Tower Club returns this year. The exclusive club is open to the public for a special holiday buffet. Doors open at 5 p.m. Call 417-866-4466 for reservations. Downtown Springfield and the Downtown Community Improvement District will host a second tree-lighting ceremony on Park Central Square that evening for the “older kids.” The History Museum on the Square will unveil its holiday display and “Windows at the Fox” at 7 p.m. The fun continues with a special performance by Tuba Christmas on the gazebo as Park Central Square lights up at 7:30 p.m. The downtown Community Improvement District will provide hot chocolate on the square during the festivities. Coffee Ethic will host an after-party with specialty brews from Mother’s Brewery. Festival of Lights is a six-week celebration containing a flurry of holiday activities in Springfield’s Center City Nov. 22 through New Year’s Day. Major events, in addition to the Mayor’s Tree Lighting Ceremony, include:
# # # For more information, contact: Cora Scott, Director of Public Information & Civic Engagement, 417-864-1009 (office) | 417-380-3352 (cell), email@example.com