After tradition canceled, Broad Ripple community comes together to put on Christmas festival

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - It's a race against the clock to put on a tree lighting ceremony and family fun event in Broad Ripple.

The community and business owners say they just found out the annual Broad Ripple Lights Up, a holiday festival and parade, was canceled.

A newly formed group of volunteers came together to pull off a Christmas miracle within 10 days in Broad Ripple.

"I saw a bunch of posts in there that the event had been canceled and families were really upset about it and I don't know something in me just got more upset the more I read," organizer Lanie Lopez said.

The Broad Ripple Village Association president said the decision to cancel the event was made in the summer and association members were notified.

"This year we just really didn't have the manpower or the volunteer interest in hosting the parade so we decided to have Santa as part of small business Saturday this year and certainly if there's a big outcry in the community we will certainly look at reinstating that event next year," Colleen Fanning said.

Lanie Lopez she was moved to respond to the outcry. So she put out a call on social media to see who'd like to help pull off what they're calling 'Light up Broad Ripple.' Within 24 hours, about 30 community members and business owners were on board.

"It proved to me what I've always believed. That this village is a community and people love it, people want to support it and people will work together," Lanie said.

Lanie and her crew made a list now they're checking it twice. Gathering reindeer, hot chocolate stations, cookie decorating and a tree lighting. But they didn't have enough time to coordinate a parade. The Broad Ripple Village Association says the community was given a heads up months ago and this wasn't a last minute decision.

"It's been on our website and it's gone out to all our members so we feel like we've communicated that fairly clearly certainly if we can do a better job of that next year we will," Fanning said.

Diane Seybert and her friend Sue started this event together. She says it doesn't matter who plans it she's just glad to see her vision live on.

"I was excited that people wanted to do it that much and it really, really pleased me that they want to do it they're just willing to put it together. I'm so happy," Seybert said.

Light Up Broad Ripple will take place this Sunday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. It’s completely free for the entire family. The tree lighting will be at 6 p.m. at the corner of Guilford Ave. and Westfield Blvd.