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City Of Lights

Ring in the holidays in Lowell and join us for this year's City of Lights Parade and Holiday Celebration! 

Take the afternoon to stroll the city streets and enjoy live performances, holiday shopping, photos with Santa, AND the crowd favorite, our Annual Hot Chocolate Competition! The daytime fun leads to the nighttime extravaganza -- The City of Lights Parade and City Hall Lighting -- which marks the City's official start to the holiday season!

2016 Parade Registrations are now closed.

2016 City of Lights Events

8th Annual Hot Chocolate Competition 2 - 4 pm
Taste delicious hot chocolate samples at locations throughout downtown Lowell & vote for your favorite! Cost: 25 cents per 4 oz cup.

Holiday Songs and Singalongs with Trish Boshco 3 - 6 pm - Stage on Arcand Drive
Bring your best voice and sing along with Trish!

City of Lights Parade 4:30 - 6:30 pm
Get your spot along parade route, from Jackson Street to City Hall. The area's only nighttime parade offers bands, marching units and a variety of festive floats!

Photos with Santa*
1 - 3 pm  |  Lowell City Hall, 375 Merrimack Street
Come get your holiday family photo taken with the star of the North Pole himself!  Keep in mind that this is Santa's busy season - he has to close the line promptly at 3! *Please note: Cost is $1 per photo

Strolling Carolers throughout Downtown 1 pm - 4 pm
Keep a lookout for the Lowell Gentlemen Songsters, our strolling carolers performing in downtown.

Bob Riordan's Magic Show
2 pm & 3 pm shows
Lowell Five Bank lobby, 34 John Street
These 40-45 minute shows will wow everyone in the family.  Get there early to get a good seat! Learn more about Bob's great performances by visiting

Safari Rides with Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Lucy the Polar Bear, Maurice the Great Christmas Moose and Sno-Cat the Siberian Tiger*
11:45 am - 3:45 pm | Location: City Hall Plaza
Kids and parents alike will love Safari Rides! Rudolph, Lucy, Maurice, and Sno-Cat will gladly take you on a stroll in the plaza, and can each carry 2 adults or 3 children. *Please note: Cost is $2 per ride

Children's Shopping Day at the Pollard Library 10 - 1 pm, Kids only ages 4-14. 1 - 2 pm, Kids 4-14 and member of Friends of the Library only. 2 - 4 pm, general public.
Enjoy one-stop shopping! Select from hundreds of donated gently-used items ranging from $1 to $5. All kids also get their gifts wrapped for them! General public welcome. 

Holly Jolly Trolley 12 pm - 4 pm
Jump on the Lowell National Historical Park's "Holly Jolly Trolley", complete with Ranger Elves, music and holiday decorations! The trolley will run continuously from the Boott Cotton Mills to the Visitor Center. Free Event, no reservations required!

Holiday Art Exploratory for Kids 1 - 4 pm at Lowell Makes, 115 Merrimack Street
Kids are invited to create their own spin art (while supplies last!) 

Self-Guided Tours of St. Anne's Church 2 - 6 pm
St. Anne's Church, 8 Kirk Street.

FREE Holiday Choral Concert 6:30 - 8 pm
St. Anne's Church, 8 Kirk Street
Top off the evening with a variety of holiday songs with the Lowell Gentlemen Songsters and the St. Anne's Choir.

Festival of Wreaths - Contest and Raffle
2 - 6 pm | Edson Hall (Behind St. Anne's Church) Merrimack Street
View beautifully decorated wreaths donated by local organizations and individuals. Buy raffle tickets for your chance to take one of the wreaths home with you! Raffle to be held at 5 p.m.  Admission to this event is FREE. Sponsored by The Brush Art Gallery & Studios.

Warm FREE Treats at Mills42 Federal Credit Union
4 - 6 pm | 83 Merrimack Street (Corner of Merrimack & John Streets)
Come in from the cold and enjoy FREE freshly popped popcorn and delicious warm apple cider, courtesy of  Mills 42 Federal Credit Union!

Holiday Craft Market 3 pm - 8 pm
Location: Lucy Larcom Park

Enjoy locally made arts and crafts, food trucks, games and
entertainment, sponsored by Made In Lowell.

Window Decorating Contest
Visit these downtown locations and vote for the People's Choice award! Ballots available at participating locations.

8th Annual Hot Chocolate Competition
Taste delicious hot chocolate samples at locations throughout downtown Lowell & vote for your favorite! Cost: 25 cents per 4 oz cup.

This page will continue to be updated - check back!

Thank You to our 2016 City of Lights Sponsors

Event Sponsor

Parade Sponsor 

Earlier Event: October 29
Monster Bash & Halloween Stroll
Later Event: November 26
Dine Out Lowell