The 19th season of Omaha’s Holiday Lights Festival will kick off on Thanksgiving with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska (BCBSNE) as presenting sponsor once again.

Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert.

As in years past, the lights will be turned on Thanksgiving evening. There will be six weeks of activities including ice skating at the Capitol District Ice Rink from December 7 through January 21.

Now in its 12th year, the Shine Your Light campaign will raise the equivalent of 1.5 million meals to support hunger relief lead by the Food Bank of the Heartland. For every dollar raised the Food Bank will distribute enough food for 3 meals.


Dr. Joann Schaefer, BCBSNE.

New this year, BCBSNE has created 12 Days of Fearless – twelve fun holiday activities, contests and treats to make the season even more special. Enjoy hot cocoa at the Capitol District ice rink, enter to win a New Years Eve VIP experience, get a free family photo taken at the Thanksgiving Lighting Ceremony and more.

The Festival concludes on New Year’s Eve with a fireworks spectacular at the Gene Leahy Mall. Next year, the Festival will be relocated because of construction at the mall. Mayor Stothert confirmed that the Festival will remain in downtown Omaha.

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