Many people share rich family traditions surrounding the Fort Wayne downtown Christmas lights. Take a trip down memory lane with us as we take a look at some long-standing traditions, as well as traditions of past and present! Please feel free to add your own memories to this space.

"When our children were small, we always drove downtown FW at least once during the season so they could see the famous Santa." ~Deb S.: Albion, Indiana

"We have become friends with Cayla's(daughter) former bus driver and his family and we meet them in the intersection of Wayne and Calhoun after the official lighting." ~Bob S.: Fort Wayne, Indiana

"Like many others, when our children were younger we did make a point of getting downtown to see the lights. We would incorporate this into a larger trip during which we would tour Fort Wayne and suburbs looking for homes that had Christmas lighting displays." ~Dan S.: Fort Wayne, Indiana

"I believe that we may be going down for Jaime's(daughter) first Christmas and it may become a tradition." ~Phil I.: Fort Wayne, Indiana

"We took Kevin's(husband) mom with us one year when the kids were little. Katie(daughter) was old enough to have that fond memory of Grandma going with us and will sometimes still mention it now that Grandma is gone." ~Jackie B.: Albion, Indiana

"Back when they used to hold the official lighting the weekend after Thanksgiving, it fell on my birthday, Nov. 28, a couple of times. That made me feel special..." ~Jessica S.: Chicago, Illinois

"About five years ago, I asked a friend and her family if they would like to attend the lighting of the downtown Christmas lights with us. That night turned out to be the coldest night we have ever been to, for the lighting…We weren't really dressed for the weather, as we neglected to check the Weather Channel before we left the house - we do check now, however. We persevered and made it to the other two lightings (the Christmas @ christmasloanss.co.uk tree over Calhoun Street and the wreath at Summit Square), but just barely. Along the way, we were given steaming cups of hot chocolate (YEA, Ft. Wayne!) by the local news celebrities, until they ran out of the body warming liquid. When we returned to the warmth of our van, I asked the kids with us (there were five) what their favorite part of the night was and they were split between the hot chocolate, getting to be in the middle of the street and not getting yelled at, and the lights coming on for the first time. I never watch the lights coming on when they throw the switch, I always watch the glow in my kids' faces." Kathy R.: Fort Wayne, Indiana

"The last couple of years, Sam(fiance) and I take pictures in front of it." ~Matt S.: Muncie, Indiana
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"I remember my grandparents taking me as a child. It seemed huge then." ~Cindy L.: Albion, Indiana

"I used to go with my family as a child, and now I take mine... We get peppermint blizzards afterwards, too." Jene S.: Albion, Indiana

"...When we go, we always make a trip to Coney Island... I have been going to see the lights since I was a child and am now taking my four year old daughter to see them and she loves them as well." ~Chalice G.: Huntertown, Indiana

Dave D., of Ft. Wayne takes his family to see the Christmas lights every Christmas season. Listen to his memories of his family tradition. Play sound

"I have been going to the lighting ceremony since I was in 5th or 6th grade. My mom would take my brother and I to Fort Wayne, we would get hot chocolate, and wait for the lights to be turned on. I now take my girls every year. We watch the Santa display being lit and then we walk with the other two hundred plus people to see the wreath being lit. I plan on doing it with my grandkids someday. We never drive through Fort Wayne during the holidays without driving past both the Santa and the wreath. It just wouldn't be Christmas without them!" ~ Kim H.: Decatur, Indiana
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