As the holiday season looks different this year in the face of the COVID pandemic, a citywide holiday light up activity is a bright spot. This year, there are a couple of different elements: Bridgeport’s traditional Light Up Night – this year with a twist – and for the first time, an invitation for all Bridgeport area residents to take part in “Light Up Our City.” Read about both below:
Light Up Our City
Sponsored by the Greater Bridgeport CVB/Connect-Bridgeport and Card My Yard, “Light Up Our City” will kick off Thursday, Dec. 3 in conjunction with Light Up Night 2020.
“There are many things cancelled for this holiday season and this gives families something special to do,” said Jenny Reed, owner of Card My Yard. “They can drive around and look at all the lit-up houses and businesses.”
Residents and business owners are invited and encouraged to light up their homes and businesses on the evening of Dec. 3.
Greater Bridgeport CVB Director Cassie Busdeker said the expansion of Light Up Night to include the entire city is a welcome and needed perk for the 2020 holiday season.
“Light Up Night is such a wonderful way for our community to start the holiday season. I am so happy to see the tradition continue during a time when so many things have changed,” she said. “This is a great, safe way to uplift the community.”
Those planning to participate are asked to email their addresses to firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday, Nov. 30. A map will be created to include those addresses and distributed via Connect-Bridgeport, as well as at the Light Up Night Drive-Through.
Reed will place surprise yard card messages throughout the route on Dec. 3, even including random letters which will spell out a special message.
“Kids can write down the letters they see along the way and after they have visited all the addresses included on the map, they can take those letters and try to put them in the right order to solve the message,” she said.
Those lighting up their homes and businesses are invited and encouraged to snap a picture, once all the decorations are in place, and send those photos to email@example.com.
Families who can’t drive the route through Bridgeport to see the lights can do so anytime leading up to the Christmas holiday. The map will be available for download on Connect-Bridgeport.
“They can pile in their car another evening – maybe with their kids in their pajamas – and take in the sights. They will know where all the good houses are,” Reed said.
Light Up Night 2020 is shaping up to be a special event for residents. The Associated Businesses of Bridgeport, along with the City of Bridgeport/Bridgeport Parks and Recreation is presenting an unprecedented experience – featuring actor Dean Cain – to kick off the holiday season. The drive-through event is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Dec. 3 and will be preceded by a live WDTV broadcast of the actual tree lighting. Details are being finalized by the ABB and will be shared here on Connect-Bridgeport soon.
Light Up Night
Light Up Night 2020 is shaping up to be a special event for residents. The Associated Businesses of Bridgeport is presenting an unprecedented drive-through experience – featuring actor Dean Cain – to kick off the holiday season.
Bridgeport Parks and Recreation, which has announced that there will be no city Christmas Parade this year, will – along with the City of Bridgeport – be focusing on making the Dec. 3 Light Up Night a quality celebration.
Beginning at 6:30 p.m., motorists will be directed to travel west on Main Street to take in the sights and sounds. In addition to festive lights along the way – and the grand finale – the already lit Christmas tree at the Benedum Civic Center – there will be various entertainment and surprises.
At Della’s Deli, a live nativity will be presented, courtesy of Middleville Baptist Church. Gina Sharps of the group said the church is happy to bring a portion of its annual live nativity to Main Street for this special occasion.
Traveling west from that point, motorists will encounter various local vocalists/entertainers. Nat Frederick will be at Winnie’s, Jason Young at the GAL building, Brandon Leroy at the city lot (corner of Main and Center), Ben DeFazio at About You Monograms and Josh Oldaker at My Little Cupcake. In front of the Civic Center, festive tunes will be playing while Santa and Mrs. Claus will send off visitors in true holiday style.
Main Street traffic – between Virginia Avenue and Philadelphia Avenue – will be closed beginning at 5:30 p.m. At 6:30 p.m., motorists will enter Main Street via Philadelphia Avenue (across from Third Street) and travel west.
For those unable to participate, Connect-Bridgeport will livestream the 6:30 p.m. Drive-Through experience on our Facebook page.
Prior to the Drive-Through, Cain will flip the switch on the city tree. Preceded by some introductions, that moment to be captured live by WDTV News Channel 5. An extended version of the actual tree lighting, including interviews and Oldaker’s live performance of “God Bless the USA,” will be livestreamed on Facebook.
City businesses and residents are asked to get on board with this year’s unique Light Up Night by flipping the switch on their own holiday decorations at 6 p.m. Dec. 3. Main Street businesses are especially asked to rev up the holiday spirit this year to delight passersby. All residents and businesses are invited and encouraged to send addresses to firstname.lastname@example.org to be included on a citywide map of holiday light displays which will be distributed on Light Up Night and available for download here on Connect-Bridgeport.
Pictures of holiday light displays can be sent to email@example.com. Those photos will run in a gallery for all to see.
Sponsors of Light Up Night 2020 are ABB members Civil & Environmental Consultants; K&M Lawn Care, Jamie Day, DDS, MS, PLLC;, Rominger Dental, Kaufman Realty & Actions and Venture Real Estate.
The ABB is very grateful for these businesses investing dollars in this event. It is different than the past 15 years, but the year 2020 with all its pandemic challenges, is a unique one; an air of festivity which event committee chair Lisa Lang and the rest of the ABB board has been adamant about bringing to the city and its residents.
“Light Up Night is all about community and with our current environment, there are restrictions involved,” said ABB President Doug Marquette. “We’re hoping people will enjoy driving along Main Street – and get involved at their own houses to go all out with decorating.”
Editor’s Note: Photos of houses are courtesy of residents, photos feature holiday lights from recent years past.