Lighting of the Square: Longtime annual event makes return to downtown Noblesville


A tradition that has been a part of Noblesville’s downtown presence on the square for decades returned with the flip of a switch to usher in the holiday season.

A crowd that brought more than 100 people spread out among three floors gathered Nov. 26 at the Hamilton County Judicial and Government Center for the Lighting of the Square, an event held by the Noblesville Chamber of Commerce in partnership with Hamilton County Commissioners. The holiday-themed tradition featured performances by the Noblesville First United Methodist Church, the Hartman Jazz Trio, the EnPointe Indiana Ballet, the Noblesville High School string ensemble and Noblesville High School choir soloists.

Hamilton County Commissioner Steve Dillinger told those in attendance that he hoped everyone would have a great holiday season. Hamilton County Commissioner Mark Heirbrandt and Dan Stevens, director of administration for the county commissioners, also attended the event.

The first floor of the Hamilton County Judicial and Government Center was picturesque for the holiday season and featured a large Christmas tree adorned with lights. Many individuals in attendance also took the opportunity to take photos of the various performances, while a special appearance was also made by Santa Claus, who secretly emerged from the first-floor elevator to greet attendees before heading across the street for the official lighting of the square.

Noblesville resident Brittany Grimm was among those who came to the Lighting of the Square with her husband Ronnie and said she decided to attend because her younger sister was performing as a ballerina with the EnPointe Indiana Ballet. It was the Grimms’ first time attending the event. Brittany Grimm said it was a good way to start the holiday season.

“Very festive, lots of great talent,” she said.

The highlight of the night, however, was the official lighting of the square outside as Noblesville Chamber of Commerce CEO Bob DuBois asked those who gathered to count down starting from five that eventually led to lights being turned on. The Hamilton County Courthouse was illuminated in green lights, while other white lights were seen surrounding the square.

The Lighting of the Square is a longtime tradition in Noblesville as the chamber has been partnering with the county for more than three decades, according to DuBois.

“We’re thrilled to partner with the county commissioners and the county’s facilities staff in bringing (and making) this event possible and we love to showcase our local talent,” DuBois said. “It’s just a nice kickoff to the season.”

DuBois said the event had previously been held the Friday after Thanksgiving, but officials thought that Small Business Saturday would be a better day for it, which he noted is a good way to bring friends and family members together.

“I think people are eager to be out and about for these types of events, but for two years, we continued the tradition, but only outside and we had to limit entertainment,” DuBois said. “I think people wanted to see us offering that local selection of high school musicians and church choirs.”

DuBois also said from the chamber’s perspective, he wants residents to visit downtown, noting that there’s “a labor of love” that businesses put into their efforts. He added that individuals can also enjoy different holiday events for free in Noblesville.

“I think that’s really important for the community to keep that fabric of the community going and you need to make sure events like this are open to all,” DuBois said.

Nicole Caldwell-Gross, pastor of Noblesville First United Methodist Church, came to the Lighting of the Square with her three children, Isabella, Joshua and Olivia, and said she enjoyed seeing the community come together.

“I think that we live in incredibly divided times, and events like this remind us how much we have in common and how much we need one another,” Caldwell-Gross said.

Caldwell-Gross said having the community join to watch high school students sing, listening to the choir and praying together was important.

“It’s an opportunity to remind us of the reason for the season,” she said. “I hope that the lights that we project on our homes and in the city is really something that we project all year long.”

More family holiday events

There are several other holiday events in Noblesville this season that the public can enjoy.

Here is a list of activities for families to participate in:

Holiday Walking Light Tour – Enjoy the holiday walking light tour throughout the Federal Hill Commons event lawn, including three displays with the perfect holiday photo opportunity.

Where- Federal Hills at 175 Logan St. in Noblesville.

When– Now through Jan. 9

Cost– Free

Holiday Carriage Rides – Families can reserve a unique, private 15-minute carriage ride through downtown Noblesville or a carriage ride with Santa for. Carriage rides can seat up to six adults and three to five children on adults’ laps. Santa rides seat five adults and three to five children on adults’ laps.

Where- Federal Hills at 175 Logan St. in Noblesville.

When– Now through Jan. 9

Cost– Carriage ride- $75. Carriage ride with Santa- $125.

More information:

Ice Skating at Ice Plaza – Come skate on the rink made of authentic ice in the plaza. Admission and skate rental are good for all day skating.

When – Now through Dec. 22: 5-9 p.m., Wed.-Fri. 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sat. 11 a.m.-7 p.m.

Dec. 23 through Jan. 9: 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Mon.-Sat. 11 a.m.-7 p.m.

Holiday hours

Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve: 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

Christmas Day: Closed

New Year’s Day: 11 a.m-9 p.m.

Where – Federal Commons Ice Plaza at Federal Hills at 175 Logan St. in Noblesville.

Cost- $13 (13+), $11 (12 and under), Skate aid rental- $3