Worcester expands Festival of Lights

Brian Lee
Telegram & Gazette
Gwendolyn Mongeau, 4, touches lights on the Worcester Common as her mother tries to take a picture for a Christmas card Thursday.

WORCESTER - The city of Worcester and its partners have adapted the annual Festival of Lights to illuminate the city with public art and sculpture from downtown and Main South Dec. 14 through February.

This year’s locations will expand beyond the Worcester Common to include multiple businesses downtown and several hubs along Main Street in the Main South neighborhood.

Main South installations will feature light sculptures by local artists at key nodes and participating businesses.

A light display, intended to be a substitute for Tower Hill Botanic Garden's annual Night Lights canceled this year due to COVID-19, is installed on the Worcester Common on Thursday.

Downtown lighting elements will include a crescendo of multicolored snowflakes on Mercantile Center, as well as 25 LED snowflakes in windows of businesses, which were crafted by Carlos Torres, a member of Technocopia.

Creative Hub Worcester will install a large backlit mural on the windows of The Menkiti Group-owned building at 554 Main St.

On the Worcester Common, Tower Hill Botanic Garden has created an illuminated rainbow tunnel over 200 feet long, which celebrates Worcester’s inclusivity and will illuminate the Common in conjunction with 3D geometric light sculptures by Ivy Orth, head designer of LunoSol.

“For me, this event is always a great way to kick off the holiday season,” Mayor Joseph M. Petty said. “I want to thank the Parks Department, our Cultural Department and our Cable Services teams for their fine work in decorating the Worcester Common and pulling together this celebration.”

A light display, intended to be a substitute for Tower Hill Botanic Garden's annual Night Lights canceled this year due to COVID-19, is installed on the Worcester Common on Thursday.

“We are excited to be able to continue the tradition of Festival of Lights, despite how different this winter will look for us all,” City Manager Edward M. Augustus Jr. said. “Our hope is that, in addition to fostering a festive spirit, the Festival of Lights will bring a sense of normalcy to Worcester families, while keeping their safety as a priority.”

“I wanted this project to evoke magic, vibrancy, and inspiration, to contrast the dreary solitude of lockdown in the winter,” Orth said. “The sculptures make use of shadows and natural geometric forms. We use light boxes and fairly simple technology, but strategically positioned over a large area on the Common, the light will absolutely stun viewers and dazzle the Common.”