The Holiday Lights Festival is produced by Mayor Jean Stothert and the Downtown Omaha Inc. Foundation, with media sponsors KETV Channel 7 and STAR 104.5, The Christmas Station.

The Festival celebrates its 20th year in 2019 with a NEW TWIST in the downtown lighting display. Due to the construction at the Gene Leahy Mall, the lights will illuminate the Old Market and surrounding streets with white lights and garland from November 25 through January 5, with added special events as part of the Holidays in the Old Market. This year’s lights will span from 10th-13th Streets and from Harney to Jackson Streets. The display also covers North and South Omaha along 24th Street. The lights shine nightly for six weeks to awe visitors.


As part of the lighting display, North Omaha will hold their own holiday event centered around the lights. North Omaha presents Christmas in the Village on December 7th from noon to 5pm. The event takes place between 24th & Ohio to 24th & Burdette Street.


As part of the lighting display, South Omaha will hold their own holiday event centered around the lights. South Omaha Business Association (SOBA), MYLPA and presenting sponsor, First National Bank of Omaha, are excited to announce the South Omaha Lights event on Friday, November 29th from 5pm to 7pm. Join them for a special tree lighting ceremony, a special mariachi performance, a holiday lights show, and free hot chocolate and cookies. Special guests include Mayor Jean Stothert and the Consul of Mexico. The event takes place at Plaza de la Raza (24th and N Streets).


Due to the Gene Leahy Mall construction there will not be the traditional Thanksgiving Lighting Ceremony or the Making Spirits Bright Holiday Concert, but the Festival will still showcase Downtown Omaha and celebrate the spirit of the holidays by providing a full season of festive, family-friendly activities.  The 2019 Holiday Lights Festival will feature great traditions including:


Supported by Conagra Brands, the Holiday Lights Festival will once again feature the campaign to Shine the Light on Hunger, encouraging the entire community to help fight hunger by dropping off non-perishable food and household items at The Capitol District Ice Rink as well as at collection barrels that will be placed at additional locations throughout the community, including area Baker’s stores. A portion of proceeds from the The Capitol District Ice Rink are donated to Food Bank for the Heartland, and Conagra Brands Foundation matches funds from the campaign up to $100,000.

Click here to learn how you can support the Shine the Light on Hunger campaign.

In 2018, Conagra Brands and the community collected more than 45,000 pounds of food and raised $712,760 during the campaign, the equivalent of more than 2.1 million meals donated to Food Bank for the Heartland, enough to exceed the campaign’s goal of 1.5 million. The Conagra Brands Foundation continued its tradition of matching proceeds collected from the capaign, dollar for dollar, up to $100,000.

There is plenty to see and do at Omaha’s Holiday Lights Festival! Want to know more about Omaha and where to stay, shop and dine? See our Helpful Links page for more information.