Downtown Indiana The Shining Star

Downtown Indiana recently put a bow on the 2023 edition of the It’s A Wonderful Life Festival, which was again sponsored by First Commonwealth Bank and substantially supported by the Indiana County Center for Economic Operations. The festival kicked off with the Lucy Donnelly Memorial Holiday Parade and Light Up Night on the Friday before Thanksgiving and continued through the holiday season, with ongoing events/initiatives such as Small Business Saturday, Kid’s Day in Downtown, Breakfast with Santa, and this year’s newest addition, the Christmas Cookie Tour. Despite inclement weather on parade night, almost 10,000 parade watchers were treated to a dance flash mob and more than 80 parade units from all over Indiana County, which offered creative, fun, and festive floats. Residents and visitors continued to fill Downtown streets during the weekends that followed, engaging with Festival events/initiatives and frequenting Downtown’s businesses.


The festival’s primary objective is to bring people both from within and outside of Indiana County to Indiana’s Downtown business district for dining, shopping, and other holiday festivities, and this year’s edition continued to build on the festival’s recent expansions. The event is made possible by the significant financial and volunteer contributions from throughout the Indiana community, including from local businesses and community, economic, and tourism development organizations, who all acknowledge the importance of increased foot traffic associated with Festival initiatives as a means of sustaining a diverse, successful set of experience-oriented, restaurant/pub, and retail businesses in Downtown Indiana. To provide feedback about this year’s events or suggestions for next year’s version, or to volunteer to help with the festival, please email Sam Kenly, Downtown Indiana’s Executive Director, at sam.kenly@downtownindianapa.org.