Thanksgiving is less than a week away, and that means local holiday traditions are kicking into high gear.
Get the family together and head out to enjoy lights, trees and gingerbread starting next week.
Night of Lights
Christmas in downtown Fort Wayne kicks off Wednesday with HolidayFest and the Night of Lights.
Voting for the Downtown Holiday Window Decorating Contest begins that night with the theme “Home for the Holidays.” Churches will ring their bells, there will be hot cocoa and light displays will be lit across downtown including Santa and his reindeer on the side of the PNC Bank building
The lighting schedule:
5:45 p.m. – History Center turret lighting (Barr Street)
5:55 p.m. – Christ Child Festival nativity lighting (Ross Building on Main Street)
6 p.m. – Aunt Millie's Northern Lights (Pearl Street)
6:05 p.m. – Community Center Santa's Workshop display (Main Street)
6:20 p.m. – Santa and His Reindeer at PNC Bank (Main and Calhoun streets)
6:40 p.m. – Ash Brokerage holiday illumination (Harrison and Berry streets)
7 p.m. – Flagstar Bank's Christmas tree display lighting and Indiana Michigan Power's Merry Christmas wreath (Calhoun and Wayne streets)
7:15 p.m. – Foellinger Freimann Botanical Conservatory and Embassy Theatre Displays (Jefferson Boulevard)
7:30 p.m. – Ringing of the Bells (downtown churches and Allen County Public Library)
8 p.m. – Parkview Field fireworks (north gate closes at 7:45 p.m.)
For more about HolidayFest activities, go to downtownfortwayne.com/holidayfest.
Festival of Trees
Embassy Theatre's 35th Festival of Trees begins at 6 p.m. Wednesday and continues through Dec. 4.
The festival includes 60 decorated trees, animated holiday windows and performances on the Embassy stage including local choirs and dance groups.
There is a screening of “White Christmas” at 5 p.m. Thursday.
Hours for the festival are 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday; 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday; 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Nov. 29 to Dec. 1; 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 5 to 9 p.m. Dec. 2; and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 3 and 4.
Admission is $8 adults, $4 for ages 4 to 12, free for ages 3 and younger.
Go to FWEmbassyTheatre.org for a full schedule of performances.
Festival of Gingerbread
The History Center will have a preview of its 34th annual Festival of Gingerbread from 3 to 9 p.m. Wednesday with special $3 admission.
The festival officially opens Nov. 29 and runs through Dec. 15. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. The History Center is closed on Thanksgiving.
Admission, which includes the full museum, is $6 for adults, $4 for ages 65 and older or 3 to 17, and free for 2 and younger. There will be free admission from 5 to 9 p.m. Dec. 3.
Go to FWHistoryCenter.com for a schedule of special weekend programs.
Fantasy of Lights
Blue Jacket's Fantasy of Lights begins Tuesday and can be seen through the end of the year.
It features more than 110 light displays in Franke Park, and drew more than 22,000 cars last year.
Hours are 6 to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 6 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Admission is $10 for a personal vehicle, $20 for a commercial van and $40 for a trolley or bus.
Go to www.facebook.com/BJIFantasyOfLights for more information.
– Corey McMaken, The Journal Gazette