Thursday, November 7

51st Annual Circle of Lights Decorating Event Saturday, November 9, 2013

I love decorating for the holiday season ~ whether it's decorating the tree (real trees only, please), decorating gifts (Yes, I am one of those people who spend as much time on ribbons and wrap as the gift shopping) or decorating the outside area. I would have to say that growing up in the Midwest means an extra little something when the frost, snowflakes and icicles add in their touch to the exterior.

One of my treasured memories of "Growing up Midwest" (click here for another Midwest Christmas memory) as I like to call it, is the trek to Indianapolis' downtown every holiday. My parents would load all six kids into the station wagon for the annual outing. Mom would have made, and brought with us, her homemade goodies: popcorn balls, fudge and thermoses of steaming hot chocolate (made with real milk, not water and instant powder).

Before pulling out of the driveway you could hear her holler out, "Where's the baby?" "Who's got Jeannie?" My siblings would call back, "She's here," "Let's go!" and "Mmphmfmp," could be heard from me as the scarves (yes, plural) would muffle my answer. Because, as we all know, the smaller you are the more outerwear adults believe you need.

As the youngest ~ and runt of the litter ~ "Baby" "Dolly" or "Jeannie" (as I was referred to depending on the person in my family), was always shoved into the very back of the staple vehicle of most families in those days. The seats flipped up and a table pulled down so my brother and I could set our treats out nicely.

Parking the car, after many attempts to get the "perfect spot," Dad would proudly help each of out of the car and show us the display ~ as if he personally had strung every light, decorated every storefront window and placed the tin soldiers and sailors for us personally. And, yes, I believed he had made all the magic just for me. Oh,, and my siblings, of course...

This year, residents and visitors alike, are invited to join IBEW, volunteers, and speakers at Monument Circle Saturday, Nov. 9 between 9 - 11 a.m. for Deck the Halls: Installation Appreciation. Picture taking, oohing and aahing, and watching the volunteers create the World's Largest Lighted Christmas Tree.or their hard work. Additionally, a Circle of Lights® Coloring Contest station will be set up for kids to work on their creations!

Lighting Ceremony Information
The lighting ceremony of Circle of Lights, presented by the Contractors of Quality Connection and Electrical Workers of IBEW #481, will take place Friday evening, Nov. 29 on Monument Circle. More than 100,000 holiday enthusiasts are expected to attend Indiana’s largest, annual, FREE public gathering now in its 51st year.

The event will include special appearances from holiday entertainers including Indianapolis native Sandi Patty, as well as The von Trapp Family singers, both appearing at the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra’s Duke Energy Yuletide Celebration, and the larger-than-life toy soldiers and sailors and peppermint sticks adorning Monument Circle. In addition, central Indiana entertainers selected from state wide auditions will perform and Santa will make his first official appearance of the 2013 season.

Elizabeth J. Musgrave is a syndicated fine-living, travel, food, wine and spirits columnist, freelance writer and photographer, and performing arts and restaurant critic for Gotta Go. Read Infused, her spirits, wine & beer lifestyle column, at and and catch her as Indy’s Personal Lifestyle Adviser on Indy Style, WISH8 (CBS). Gotta Go is published on,, and in print. Follow her on Twitter @GottaGo, LinkedIn and Facebook.

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