Thanksgiving Lighting Ceremony returns to downtown Omaha

(Omaha, NE) -- For the first time since 2018, the Thanksgiving Lighting Ceremony will be held in downtown Omaha on Thursday.

The ceremony will be held at 6:00 Thursday night at the Gene Leahy Mall. This event is the official kick-off for the Holiday Lights Festival season. Immediately following the Thanksgiving Lighting Ceremony is the Making Spirits Bright Concert at 7:00 pm at the Holland Performing Arts Center. The free holiday music concert features the Nebraska Wind Symphony and special guest vocalist Ryan Daly.

“This year’s Festival is going to be incredible,” said Richard Callahan, Executive Director of Downtown Omaha Inc. Foundation. “From the Making Spirits Bright Concert to the KETV Family Festival to the New Year’s Eve Fireworks Spectacular, we’ve got an entire season of amazing holiday events planned for the whole Omaha community. And, we are so grateful to The RiverFront for their partnership to ensure the newly renovated Gene Leahy Mall is as festive as possible!”

Along with traditional white tree lights and some sizable ornaments, this year the park will also feature a festive multimedia show that will debut during the official Thanksgiving Lighting Ceremony on November 24th. The production will incorporate color-changing “up-lights,” video projections onto the Gene Leahy Mall Performance Pavilion and Burlington Building, thematic video on the 10th Street Bridge LED wall and holiday music sounding throughout the park. The multimedia show, which is about seven minutes long, can be seen every Friday and Saturday throughout the holiday season, running every hour.

"The RiverFront team has been busy preparing for the holidays, not only by wrapping the trees as seen in years past, but by adding seasonal decorations throughout park and planning numerous family friendly activities in the weeks ahead," said Roger Dixon, MECA President & CEO. "Since reopening this summer, Gene Leahy Mall has become a favorite destination for our community. We are happy to help carry on this wintertime tradition in Omaha."

The Holiday Lights Festival runs from November 24th to January 2nd.

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