By Mary Giorgio

It wouldn’t feel like the Christmas season without festive displays of holiday lights adorning the Hoosier state from end to end. But for generations of Indiana families, one light display stands out as an annual must-see event. The Circle of Lights display in downtown Indianapolis draws tens of thousands of visitors each year to witness the Soldiers and Sailors Monument lit up in all its glory.


The lighting of the monument traditionally takes place on the day after Thanksgiving. In recent years, an estimated 100,000 Hoosiers have filled the streets surrounding Monument Circle to watch the festivities culminating in the lighting of almost 5,000 colored LED bulbs.


The bulbs are strung in the shape of a tree, hanging down from the top of the monument. Each bulb represents a branch of the military: green for Army, clear for Air Force, blue for Navy, yellow for Coast Guard and red for Marines. The brilliant display has been named by Travelocity as one of the “Top 5 Must-See Christmas Trees in America“.