WORCESTER – The City of Worcester kicks off the holiday season this weekend with the Festival of Lights on Friday, Dec. 1, and the Canal District Stroll and Kelley Square Tree Lighting on Saturday, Dec. 2.
The annual Festival of Lights returns to the Worcester Common on Friday, Dec. 1.
The Festival of Lights on Friday
The event is the first night of the city’s winter lighting installation and features the lighting of the tree at 6 PM, light displays, ice skating, food vendors, face painting, street performers and live music performances at the Worcester Common, at City Hall, from 4:30 PM to 9 PM. Award-winning singer Michelle Brooks-Thompson, a Springfield native and finalist on NBC’s “The Voice” performs following the tree lighting at 6 PM.
Admission and ice skating is free at the Festival of Lights. Ice skates will be available to rent for $5.
Light installations will be on display in downtown Worcester from Dec. 1 to Feb. 28, 2024.
Worcester Public Library
The Worcester Public Library, at 3 Salem Sq., is open until 8:30 PM on Friday for the festival of lights. The library will have hot cocoa , small family crafts, and a Friends of the Library pop-up holiday sale.
The library hosts its Winter Wonderland display through Dec. 31. That display includes a life-sized gingerbread house, cut-outs of gingerbread people and a snowman, a Pride snowman display, and a tree trail with 10 holiday trees decorated by local non-profit organizations and businesses as well as a Holiday Photo Scene. It remains on display through Dec. 31.
Parking and Road Closures
Area road closures for the Festival of Lights will begin at noon on Friday. Those closures Franklin Street, Front Street, Church Street, and portions of Main Street in front of City Hall.
Starting at 4 PM on Friday, parking at the Worcester Common Garage and Union Station Garage is just $1.
Canal District Stroll and Kelley Square Tree Lighting
The Canal District Stroll begins at 11 AM on Saturday. The stroll is a self-guided to Canal District Businesses with several offering discounts through the day and evening on Saturday. See those offering discounts here.
The Kelley Square Tree Lighting takes place at 5 PM.
Parking is $1 all-day at Union Station Garage, Green Street Lot, Water Street Lot, and Millbury Street Lot.