Celebration begins with Circle of Lights installation

Workers install lights on Monument Circle Saturday. (Joe Feton, WTHR)
Circle of Lights installation
Circle of Lights installation
Circle of Lights Set Up

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) - With that cold chill we've felt lately, it's starting to feel more like the holiday season. And it's starting to look more like it too. Now if you drive around Monument Circle downtown, you'll see the Circle of Lights. Workers made sure things went smoothly as they set up on Saturday – from top to bottom.

There are just 12 days until Thanksgiving, but the workers have another holiday on the brain.

“To me, it's like the beginning of the Christmas season,” said Henry Burks, who has helped set up the Circle of Lights for 23 consecutive years.

For some IBEW workers, helping put up the Circle of Lights is a tradition, but this is the first time for several others.

“I used to come down here with my parents and watch them put it up, so it's kind of cool to be a part of it,” said Steve Allogin, who was working there for the first time.

They're part of a pretty well-choreographed project. Workers start on two strands at a time on opposite sides of the statue. Crews were on the ground and nearly 300 feet up as they set each strand in place.

“We just don't want to put too much stress on the monument, because it is very old, so we're very careful and don't want to damage anything,” said Steve Menser, who is the business manager for IBEW #481.

This time around, set-up day and Veterans Day are one and the same. They stopped working to honor the men and women who bravely serve our country.

“With the monument being what it is, it adds a little significance to it,” said Burks.

“Just being part of something bigger that yourself,” said Shaun Montalvo, who was also there for the first time.

On each of the strands are brand new LED lights. There are more than 4,000 of them all together and each color represents a branch of the military, like green for the Army, blue for the Navy and red for the Marines. Those 52 strings are made of six miles of electrical wire and more than two miles of garland. They’re now set and ready for the light switch to get flipped on the day after Thanksgiving.

“You drive by all this stuff when you're done and [I’ll] point it out to my 12 year old and be like, ‘I worked there, yeah,’” said Allogin.

We're still looking for someone to help us flip the switch on that giant holiday tree. All your kid has to do is enter our coloring contest. Make sure to get your pictures turned in by Monday for a chance to win.

We've got more details on how to do that here: https://www.wthr.com/categories/circle-of-lights