Greensboro has no shortage of festivals, and what many people say is their favorite, the Downtown Greensboro Festival of Lights, is Friday, Dec. 1 beginning at 5:30 p.m. and ending whenever people go home.

The Festival of Lights includes a community sing-along and tree lighting ceremony, live performances up and down Elm Street, delicious food, holiday shopping and many other family-friendly activities to usher in the Christmas season.

President and CEO of Downtown Greensboro Inc. City Councilmember Zack Matheny said in the press release, “There is no better display of the spirit of our downtown community than neighbors standing shoulder to shoulder in our city center filled with holiday cheer at the annual Festival of Lights. In December, Downtown Greensboro transforms into a fun, family-friendly season destination for all to enjoy. We look forward to seeing you downtown.”

Early birds can get a jump start on the night at 5 p.m. in LeBauer Park at the Piedmont Winterfest ice skating rink and the Vendor Market.

Officially the Festival of Lights begins at 5:30 p.m. in Center City Park with a performance by the North Carolina A&T State University Fellowship Gospel Choir, followed by the community sing-along at 6:30 p.m. with the Drew Hays Five featuring Diana Tuffin.

According to the press release, “The community tree will be lit at precisely 6:56 p.m. in Center City Park.”

Musicians who will be performing along Elm Street from Friendly Avenue to Lewis Street include:

  • Grimsley Madrigal Singers
  • The Reids
  • Greensboro Tarheel Chorus
  • Rod McCoy & The Real McCoy Band
  • UNCG Chariots
  • Greensboro Performing Arts
  • High Lonesome Strings
  • Finn Phoenix
  • Sinai Mountain Ramblers
  • Greensboro College Brass

Strolling through the festival area will be some traditional favorites, like Mrs. Claus, Season’s Best Carolers, The Silver Drummer Girl, Superheroes and Disney Princesses.

And if that isn’t enough, there will also be circus performers, Sumo Santas, live ice-sculpting, face painters, balloon twisters and mechanical reindeer to name a few.