Celebrate Frederick

Celebrate Frederick: Festival of Lights

The Holidays in Historic Frederick The Holidays in Historic Frederick

Festival of Lights

Wednesday, December 11, 2024 | 6:30 PM
City Hall Courtyard, 101 N. Court Street
Free to Attend, Open to All

Don’t miss one of the holiday season’s most inspiring events.

Each year the Festival of Lights brings the true spirit of the season to young and old alike. Holiday greetings, carols, and an inspirational messages are all part of this community tradition-based event that highlights the true meaning of the holiday season. Attendees join in the program with a moving candle-lighting ceremony, filling the courtyard with magnificent light.

This event is held outdoors. Onsite ASL Interpreting.



Festival Program

The 2023 Festival of Lights will include a special musical performances by The Frederick Children’s Chorus and soloist, Sierra Jones.

The Frederick Children’s Chorus, founded in 1985 by Judith L. DuBose, is dedicated to encouraging every child to be the best singer that they can be. In addition to the Chorus’ performance at the Festival of Lights, the group will also host the 28th Handel’s Messiah Sing-Along at the Weinberg Center on Tuesday, December 19 at 8:00 PM.

Sierra Jones, the reigning Miss Central Maryland for the Miss America Opportunity, achieved the notable distinction of securing 3rd runner up at the Miss Maryland competition in June 2023. As the daughter of a retired service member, Sierra is dedicated to her social impact initiative, which focuses on advocating for quality resources for military veterans. With a Masters in Leadership with an emphasis on Homeland Security and Emergency Management, Sierra not only holds the role of University Assistant Director for Student Affairs but also serves as a FEMA reservist, embodying a commitment to both education and emergency preparedness.

Joining us as this year’s inspirational speaker is Elin Ross, Executive Director of the Federated Charities Nonprofit Center.

Elin Ross is the executive director of the “building with the dog,” the Federated Charities Nonprofit Center on Market Street. She has lived in Frederick long enough to know that she isn’t “from” Frederick but after 23 years in this community, calls Frederick home. She has worked more than 30 years in the nonprofit sector and had a quick brush with the restaurant industry as a pastry chef. She has a BA in archaeology and an MA in applied anthropology. She loves (in no particular order) her dog, the Federated Charities dog, her husband, her friends and her community. When she is not lighting a fire somewhere (figuratively) she can be found experimenting with fermented foods, gardening, hustling vintage barware and lurking at local farmers’ markets. She is an active member of the Rotary Club of Carroll Creek and has served on her local NAC community board, the Frederick City Parking Commission, the Chamber of Commerce Nonprofit Alliance and the Fair Housing Commission for the City.

This year’s program will also include remarks from Mayor Michael O’Connor, an audience sing-along of favorite carols, and a moving candle-lighting ceremony.

Beverage Truck

Arrive early to grab a hot cup of cocoa, coffee, or a specialty latte from this year’s vendor, Eklectic Coffee Bar! They’ll be onsite at the City Hall courtyard from 6 PM to 8 PM.

Menu: Coffee (hot & iced), Cappuccino, Latte (mocha, candy cane, gingersnap, & white Christmas), Hot Tea, and Hot Chocolate.

Festival History

Over 30 years ago, Julia Hanna, a Frederick City resident, expressed concerned that the world was losing sight of the real meaning of holiday season. She asked area residents to display single white candles in their windows to bring back the feeling of an old-fashioned holiday, and to focus on the warmth and fellowship of the season. She encouraged community togetherness… and the candlelight festival was begun. Since that time, the tradition has evolved into this ecumenical gathering.