by DREW HOWARD
If you’re a true Rochester or Rochester Hills resident, then you know the holiday season doesn’t officially start until one thing happens: the lighting of downtown storefronts.
Rochester will kick off its Big, Bright Light Show during the 45th annual Lagniappe celebration on Monday, November 20, where visitors can witness the downtown area be brightened by more than one million holiday lights. The lights will illuminate Downtown Rochester daily from 5 p.m. – midnight through January 7, 2018.
“The Big, Bright Light show is holiday magic personified; it is something you have to see to believe,” says Kristi Trevarrow, executive director of the Rochester Downtown Development Authority. “This holiday tradition is one-of-a-kind, and the perfect complement to the one-of-a-kind shopping experience one will find in Downtown Rochester.”
Lagniappe is scheduled to run from 6 – 9 p.m., with the official lighting ceremony starting at 7 p.m. The event promises to feature a host of holiday-appropriate activities for the whole family, including a meet-and-greet with Santa and his real reindeer as well as free carriage rides through downtown. Visitors can also enjoy the sounds of carolers strolling through a closed-down Main Street during the new event, Caroling in the Streets.
The light show has been an annual tradition in Downtown Rochester since it began in 2006, and serves as sort of an unofficial kickoff to the holiday season. Trevarrow said this year’s event should be just as spectacular as year’s past, with an estimated 1.5 million lights illuminating the businesses of Downtown Rochester.
In addition to giving the downtown area a festive look and feel, the lights of Downtown Rochester have also proven to draw huge crowds. Trevarrow said that more than one million people have visited the area to see the lights in previous seasons, while Lagniappe alone typically sees around 25,000 attendees.
Trevarrow expects similar numbers this upcoming season as well. Lagniappe’s official Facebook page has more than 11,000 “interested” users, with close to 2,000 users already hitting the “going” button. Expect Downtown Rochester to be a whole lot busier – and brighter – through these next several weeks.
Downtown Rochester will be host to even more holiday-centric events as we march on toward Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Eve. You can find a full list of events along with additional details for the Big, Bright Lights Show by visiting downtownrochestermi.com