Downtown Greensboro prepares for annual Festival of Lights

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- As the sunset light disappeared in the sky Thursday evening, downtown Greensboro prepared for a new light.

“This is by far the best thing that really showcases and kicks off our holiday season,” said Zack Matheny, executive director of Downtown Greensboro Inc.

Friday night will be the second year that downtown Greensboro will host the 29th annual Festival of Lights.

“The preparation starts right after July 4th. So, we've been at this since mid-July trying to fine-tune it. Now it is all-hands-on-deck,” Matheny said.

This year, more than 50,000 people are expected to make their way here.

“We've got a magician. We are roasting smores. We've got the stagecoach from Wells Fargo coming out and so we tried to think of everything for everybody,” Matheny said.

It’s an event that one of Greensboro’s newest bars is looking forward to.

Boxcar Bar and Arcade is on the south end of downtown and says it's ready for the crowds.

“We are really excited that 50,000 people that may not be familiar with Boxcar, may not be familiar with some of the other bars that are around this side of Lewis Street, can get to experience that,” said Boxcar bartender Christopher Perkins.

It’s a boost in business, as many come together to welcome the festive lights that plan to stick around for the holidays.

“My family will be here. My daughter will be here. Our sons will be here. We are making this a family event just like I hope everybody does,” Matheny said.

There will also be more than 50 Greensboro police officers working the event tomorrow.

Elm Street will be blocked off starting at 2 p.m.