The monument itself reaches 284 feet high, but the lights end at the base of the Victory statue. Because the lights display on the monument is not a true tree, the City of Indianapolis changed the name of the display in 1999 to “Circle of Lights.”

The popularity of the event has only increased with time. Festivities have continued to evolve and grow over the years. In 2018, the lineup of performances for the lighting ceremony included local artists Impromptu, Hearts Ablaze, McKenna Hall, One Voice, Lydia Tremaine, and Expressenz. Josh Kaufman, a native of Indianapolis and winner of NBC’s 2014 season of ‘The Voice’, was the headliner at the ceremony. There were fireworks, and of course, Santa Claus.

1965

What was once a novel lights display has turned into a huge draw for the city, with massive crowds of spectators and a televised audience in the millions. Someday the monument lights display may be officially recognized as the tallest artificial tree in the world. Regardless, Hoosiers will continue to take pride in their beautiful monument and its inspiring annual display of holiday cheer.