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Night of Lights and holiday events schedules

Jocelyn Schini checks out the Christmas trees at Embassy Theatre’s annual Festival of Trees, which will be open from 6 to 9 tonight.

– The weather tonight is expected to be almost springlike, and officials are expecting huge crowds for the annual downtown lighting events.

Starting at 5 p.m., parking will be free at the Civic Center and Harrison parking garages and at parking meters.

Starting at 5:30 p.m., parking will be free at the Plaza Garage at the Ed Rousseau Building (the former City-County Building). Exit gates may still be down when patrons arrive, but they will be open for those who exit after 6 p.m.

The lighting ceremony includes:

5:45 p.m.: Aunt Millie's Northern Lights, Pearl Street

6 p.m.: The Community Center's Santa's Workshop display, Main Street, and the History Center's turret lighting, Barr Street

6:15 p.m.: The Santa and his Reindeer lighting at PNC Tower, with Mayor Tom Henry, Santa and special guests, Main and Calhoun streets

6:45 p.m.: Wells Fargo's display and Indiana Michigan Power's Merry Christmas wreath, Wayne and Calhoun streets

7:15 p.m.: Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory's displays and the animated holiday windows at Embassy Theatre, Harrison Street

7:45 p.m.: Parkview Field fireworks

Additional holiday events tonight

Beyond the series of events that make up the downtown Night of Lights, numerous downtown locations have activities planned tonight to help usher in the holiday season.

Skating at Headwaters Park – 1 to 10 p.m.; admission is $5 (ages 14 and older), $3 (ages 13 and younger); skate rental is $2

Santa's Workshop – Community Center, 4 to 7:30 p.m., 233 W. Main St.; make-and-take crafts, cookies and drinks, and holiday movies, all for free. Donate a new or gently used bear and enter a drawing to win a giant elf bear. Kids can shop for inexpensive holiday gifts for $2 or less at the North Pole Stop-n-Shop.

Live reindeer – Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory, 5 to 9 p.m., 1100 S. Calhoun St.; free photos with Santa; regular conservatory admission fees apply: $5 for adults; $3 for ages 3-17; ages 2 and younger admitted free

Aunt Millie's Northern Lights – 5 to 8 p.m., 350 Pearl St.; free hot cider and Aunt Millie's muffins in parking lot

Northrop High School Choir – 5 to 6 p.m., Wells Fargo, Wayne and Calhoun streets; Wells Fargo Stagecoach on display in front of Wells Fargo Indiana Center

27th annual Festival of Gingerbread – History Center, 5 to 9 p.m., 302 E. Berry St.; admission is $2

Embassy Festival of Trees – 6 to 9 p.m., Embassy Theatre, 125 W. Jefferson Blvd.

HolidayFest-Hot Cocoa Stop – Courtyard by Marriott Downtown, 6 to 9 p.m.

Open house – Grand Wayne Center, 6 to 8 p.m.; complimentary holiday cookies and punch starting at 6 p.m.; Allen County Public Library Children's Department holiday crafts and visiting with Mrs. Claus run from 6 to 8 p.m.; Fort Wayne Youth Concert Orchestra from 6 to 6:30 p.m.; Faith in Motion dancers perform 6:30 to 7 p.m.; Fort Wayne Youth Symphony Orchestra, 7 to 7:30 p.m.

Cocoa and Carols – Allen County Courthouse, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.; carols performed by Voices of Unity Choir

Pictures with Santa – Courtside Building, 803 S. Calhoun St., 5 to 8 p.m.

Send in your favorite photo

  • and jgmobile will make photo galleries with the first 100 (usable) photos we get of the Night of Lights and other holiday events.
  • Send your favorite photo as an attachment to before noon Thursday. We'll let you know where to find it so you can share with your friends.
  • Please include your name and where you were. If you want, you can name everyone in the photo, from left to right.
  • Photos should be in the JPEG format.

– Journal Gazette