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'Lights On' returns to Utica Square in Tulsa

Lights On Utica
Posted at 12:03 PM, Nov 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-25 19:20:06-05

TULSA, Okla. — A Tulsa tradition returns Thanksgiving night. The 54th Annual Utica Square Lights On is Thursday at 6:30 p.m.

The event was virtual last year, but it's being held in person this year, and several people told 2 News Oklahoma’s Julie Chin they are excited to gather.

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"There's something to be said about tradition, and that's what this is. So we're so excited," says Sharon Carney.

Carney's family has been kicking off the Christmas season at Utica Square for decades.

With "Lights On" back in person, she says they wouldn't miss it. "We really want to make some special memories this year, because you never know when everybody can get back together again," says Carney.

After spending the past two years mostly at home, Dr. Tamecca Rogers and her family are also excited to circle back to the Square.

"The lights they give you that whole vibe that everything is alright. It's Christmastime," Rogers says. Her son Keith can't wait to share his list with Santa. "I want a dog… a little puppy," the 10-year-old says.

It takes a lot of hustle and bustle to transform Utica Square for the holidays. The landscape crew started stringing lights before Halloween and will work up to Thanksgiving. When it's complete, they say there will be one million lights on 175 trees.

"The lights just pop.. they're beautiful!" Rogers's son Keith says.

While the lights are the show's star, Santa and some great local talent help turn up the festive flair.

Jon Terry with SRO Productions has been producing Lights On at Utica Square for the past eight years. The big show kicks off at 6:30 p.m. with the sights and sounds of the season.

"Consider it like Whoville. Everybody must sing and celebrate and must bring joy, and Santa will come down," Terry says.

With the help of some local kiddos, Santa flips the switch to turn on those million lights.

"To see the lights come on and everybody having a good time as one and celebrate, it just starts the holiday for me," says Terry

The lights are flipped on shortly after 7 pm.

2 News Oklahoma anchor Julie Chin is back for her 6th year as the official "Lights On Emcee." She’ll be out there with live coverage on Thanksgiving night, starting at 5 p.m. on 2 News Oklahoma.

For more information on the event, click here.

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