Downtown Rochester’s Big, Bright Light Show


Taylor Garber

It’s the time of the year again when downtown Rochester becomes illuminated with Christmas lights. “The Big, Bright Light Show” will launch on Nov. 21 at 7 p.m., and will last up until Jan. 1. The lights stay on from 5 p.m. until midnight, and most stores are open on the weekdays until 9 p.m.. There are more than 1.5 million lights used on the buildings downtown to bring in the holiday spirit.

Beginning in 2006, the light show has attracted millions of viewers. People from all over the state come to visit downtown Rochester, bringing many traditions.

“My cousin comes home from college for a week or two at the end of every winter semester,” senior Erin Williamson said. “She, my sister and I all go downtown to watch the lighting up of Downtown Rochester – it’s one of my favorite parts of the year.”

The lights take eight weeks to set up. The workers try to have it done before Thanksgiving, and junior Eric Gaisser believes that’s what attracts such a large crowd.

“The hard work,” Gaisser said. “[The] effort the men put into working on it [draws the crowd].”

While Gaisser believes it’s the hard work that attracts visitors, Williamson believes the exciting winter spirit brings so many viewers.

“I think [it’s] the excitement of the upcoming Christmas season,” Williamson said. “The opportunity to hang out with friends and family is the main attractor here.”

The students at RHS are excited to see the lights illuminate downtown, and when asked about the best part, junior Justin Proctor describes his view.

“The atmosphere,” Proctor said. “Everyone seeing all the lights-it’s pretty lit.”

For many RHS students, it is a yearly event to see the lights. Williamson, along with others, have been going since they were very young.

“I’ve been doing to the light show since I was in middle school,” Williamson said. “It’ll be six years this year.”