Circle of Lights a unique Indiana tradition
It's the most visible sign of the holiday season in Indianapolis and tonight, Monument Circle was once again transformed into the "Circle of Lights".
There was quite a crowd on hand to experience a tradition that's now more than 50 years old.
Every year at the center of the Circle City, they gather - tens of thousands of Hoosiers braving the cold, standing shoulder to shoulder, singing and celebrating the start of the Christmas season.
"You just see the big tree and you're just like that's Indianapolis. That's downtown," said Chloe Holding.
For many in the crowd, it's about family, tradition, and it's uniquely Indiana.
But for one family, the Circle of Lights is a destination draw.
For the past six years, the Humes family has made the drive from Chicago to spend Thanksgiving weekend in Indianapolis
"No, we don't have family here. We don't know anybody here," explained Camille Humes. "We just love to experience this. It was so much fun the first year, we decided to make it a holiday tradition, so we've been doing it every since and the people are so wonderful. Everywhere we go, everyone's so friendly."
They have made some changes since their first Circle of Lights. That year, they witnessed the festivities well beyond the monument.
Now it's the front row and they come prepared.
"We didn't have chairs the first year. We were way in the back, couldn't see clearly. We weren't dressed appropriately, but now we're ready," Humes said.
"We have chairs and we have snacks, water and we're prepared with our clothes too," added daughter Nadiya. "It's great. I just really like all the decorations and songs and everything."
It's all to celebrate that special moment with thousands of Hoosiers.
When it happened, after Santa's appearance and a countdown from the crowd, Nadiya let out a scream of joy. "Yay! Woo hoo! Fireworks," she yelled.
It's that kind of reaction that is the stuff of holiday tradition - one renewed each year for the Circle City and all visitors who enjoy it.