Downtown Jingle Lights Brings an Interactive Flavor to the Holiday Season


It’s the holiday season, and our news director Jason gave us a big order to reporters this week, get out there and find some joy in things. Alejandro Figueroa and I went to downtown Dayton to enjoy this year’s Jingle Lights holiday light show. We have found that if you look closely, there is joy in everything.

First, we drove to Courthouse Square in downtown Dayton. We got out of the car and watched the light show in silence for a while. It was a normal cold Tuesday night in downtown December: quiet except for the occasional growl of an RTA bus or a conversation overheard by patrons smoking outside bars.

All the trees, including the huge Holiday Tree, were lit up and in sync with the songs on the radio. But we couldn’t hear them, so we quickly decided to get back to the car and tune our radio to 97.1 FM (the Jingle Lights special station) to fully enjoy the experience.

We crisscrossed downtown, browsing traffic lights, stop signs, and one-way trips to experience the spectacle. The synchronized lights are installed on Main Street between Monument and Fifth, on Third Street between St. Clair and Wilkinson, and on Monument Avenue from Patterson to Main.

Driving the entire loop takes a few minutes, about the time it takes to listen to one of the songs on the show in its entirety. There was something for everyone: covers of Ariana Grande and Miley Cyrus, Trans Siberian Orchestra or the hit by Paul McCartney and Wings which could be about the practice of witchcraft.

Alejandro and I were very moved by Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” in 1994 (listen above to hear part of our interpretation). The night we were there the synced tunes were Holiday Pop Favorites, but you can also watch different themed playlists like Holiday Classics or Kids Favorites on other days of the week.

So get to the city center before the end of the year and experience happy, family fun.

Food journalist Alejandro Figueroa and environmental journalist Chris Welter are board members of Report for America, a national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms.


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