Each year at Park Central Square in downtown Springfield, a Christmas tree goes up. Once the tree is safe in its spot, citizens can come to see the tree be lit in an annual tree lighting celebration. However, this year the celebration is going to be broadcasted on local TV as coming in person is discouraged. 

“This year, we're bringing the show to you to enjoy right in your home,” according to a City of Springfield press release. “Tune in to KY3 at 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 21 to watch performances by some of the Ozarks’ most talented artists.”

The release said some of the performers included in this televised event are the Springfield Ballet, Springfield Opera, Springfield Symphony and Springfield Little Theater. 

Ozarks Performing Arts League (OPAL) is helping plan the Tree Lighting Ceremony. OPAL is “a voluntary collaboration between Springfield Little Theatre, Springfield Ballet, Springfield Regional Opera and the Springfield Regional Arts Council,” according to a City of Springfield press release. 

In addition to the tree lighting event, the Festival of Lights will kick off when the tree is lit. 

This year, the event will include many of the normal performers that would be in the annual Springfield Christmas Parade over the course of two Saturdays, according to a City of Springfield press release. 

To see the Festival of Lights, patrons can go to the corner of South Avenue and Walnut Avenue and drive to the square to watch the performers. 

Each Saturday there will be different performers: 

Saturday, Nov. 21

  • 7-7:30 p.m. — Drury University Panther Marching Band

  • 7:45-8:15 p.m. — Parkview Viking Band

  • 8:15-8:45 p.m. — Parkview Lassies

  • 8:45-9:15 p.m. — Kickapoo Golden Arrow Band

Saturday, Dec. 12

  • 2-2:30 p.m. — Central Kilties

  • 5:15-5:45 p.m. — Central High School Marching Bulldogs

  • 6-6:30 p.m. — Willard’s The Cutting Edge

  • 6:45-7:15 p.m. — Strafford Pride of the Tribe Band

  • 8-8:30 p.m. — Kickapoo Golden Girls

In addition to the tree lighting and Festival of Lights, local organizations will be providing discounted holiday attractions. This includes the History Museum on the Square and Jordan Valley Ice Park, according to a City of Springfield press release.

Follow Desiree Nixon on Twitter, @DesireeNixon17

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