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Police, fire officials share security initiatives for Circle of Lights

Police, fire officials share security initiatives for Circle of Lights

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Indianapolis, and the annual Circle of Lights on downtown’s Monument Circle is a few days away.

The beloved holiday tradition welcomes tens of thousands of people every year.

To help keep everyone safe this Friday, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department and Indianapolis Fire Department were making sure they’re equipped for the big night.

Generations of families in the community cherish the event. Taylor Schaffer, president and chief executive officer of Downtown Indy Inc., said, “Circle of Lights is always a favorite. It’s so much fun to hear the family traditions that come along with it.”

The 2023 event will kick off the holiday season at 6 p.m. instead of 7 p.m. Organizers say the one-hour difference is better for everyone.

“It’s a decision in partnership with our programming partners. It works well within their schedule, but it also allows for people coming downtown to enjoy the Pacers game,” Schaffer said.

With the waves of crowds IMPD is reminding visitors to plan ahead by knowing where to park and wearing the right clothing for cold weather.

IMPD Maj. Joshua Gisi said, “One mile might seem OK, but when it’s 50 or 40 or 30 degrees it’s a little bit longer. So, having all those preps taken care of, knowing how they’re getting in and getting out, if they can do that, it’ll make everything so much easier for them.”

Storm Track 8’s 8 Day Forecast, as of Monday, was calling for partly cloudy skies with a high of 46 and a low of 33 on Friday.

Officials say beginning at 6 a.m. Friday, street access on Monument Circle will be closed until midnight.

Pedestrians should plan to enter from the east and west spokes of Market Street, and the north spoke from the intersection of Meridian and Ohio streets. Americans with Disabilities Act accessibility will be on the west spoke.

IMPD says it’s working closely with other agencies for safety. “All those federal partners and state partners interjecting their information and us fusing all of that together gives us a good picture of what’s happening around us, and that’s how we base our threat level,” Gisi said.

Deputy fire marshals checking for overcrowding. Michael Beard, a division chief at the Indianapolis Fire Department, said about he marshals, “Please respect them and understand that they’re here to have a safe event. They’re here to have a good time, but they also want to make sure that everyone has room to move around.”