Come enjoy the power of light and sound!

Downtown Ithaca’s Winter Light Festival Presented by Tompkins Trust Company is making its debut December 5th through 15th.

The festival will feature Prismatica, an art trail of 25 luminous and interactive prisms.

From December 5th through 15th, Prismatica will brighten the highly trafficked Commons pedestrian mall on East State Street and showcase how creativity can enliven this space. As visitors wander among and interact with the exhibit, they will enjoy an infinite interplay of lights and extremely colorful reflections.

Each prism stands more than seven feet tall and is covered in a dichroic film that reflects all the colors of the rainbow depending on the light and the viewing angle. After sunset, internal projectors light up the interactive kaleidoscope giving the project an additional dimension.

The festival will also include annual favorites Chowder Cook-Off and Santa’s Arrival, both presented by Maguire Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram & Fiat.

Additional pop-up activities during the festival will include a Silent Disco, photo opportunities with Sparky, a Giant Rideable Unicorn Art Bicycle, a glow bar serving beer, wine, and hot cocoa, demonstrations, and other entertainment for all ages.

Thank you to our Sponsors

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11 Days of Events, Exploration & Winter Celebrations

Friday, December 6th
  • Winter Light Festival Opening Celebration
  • 5pm-8pm: December Gallery Night presented by Tompkins Trust Company
  • 5pm-9pm: GLOW Bar
  • 6pm-9pm: Silent Disco Party
Saturday, December 7th
  • 12pm-5pm: 10th Annual Chowder Cook-Off presented by Maguire Jeep, Fiat, Ram, Chrysler
  • 12pm-5pm: GLOW Bar
  • Photo Opportunity with Sparky The Unicorn
Sunday, December 8th
  • 11am-3pm: Santa's Arrival in Downtown Ithaca Performances by Next Jennaration Dance Studio, Community School of Music and Arts Ithaca Children Youth Chorus, and Fall Creek Brass Band and more.

    Plus, inside Center Ithaca, Amazing Pete Balloons will be making balloon characters (for free), Festive Face Painting will be offering free facepainting and Ithaca Talent Education will treat guests to a special performance.

December 9-12th
  • Coming Soon!
Friday, Dec. 13th
  • Photo Opportunity with Sparky The Unicorn
  • Ithaca Sabers Demo & Battle (TBD)
  • 5pm-9pm: GLOW Bar
Saturday, Dec. 14th
  • 5pm-8pm: Let’s Glow Ithaca! Closing Ceremony Dance Party
  • Bicycle Light Parade through The Commons
  • 5pm-9pm: GLOW Bar
Sunday, Dec. 15th
  • Last day of Prismatica installation

  • 10th Annual Chowder Cook-Off

    Saturday, December 7, 2019 12pm-5pm

    The Chowder Cook-Off heats up on the Commons and surrounding streets including Aurora, Cayuga and Dewitt Mall!

    Winter Light Festival goers can stay warm by sampling over 20 different traditional, exotic, and gourmet chowders (seafood, vegan, and vegetarian options available) from local restaurants competing to be crowned our next Chowder Cup Champions!

    Plus, enjoy a selection of beverages at the Glow Bar featuring beers from Lucky Hare Brewing (Falcon Punch, American IPA 6.2% Dry Hopped with Falconer’s Flight, and London Gentleman, ESB 5.5% Malt Forward with subtle nut & caramel notes) and wines form Treleaven.

    Tompkins Connect will be guest bartending.


    Advance Sale Tickets for Chowder Cook-Off will be available (CASH ONLY) at the Downtown Ithaca Visitor Center, inside of Tompkins Center for History & Culture at 110 North Tioga St., on the Commons (CASH ONLY) Monday, December 2nd through Friday, December 6th. Beat the lines on Saturday and pick up tickets early. Large group orders, call 607-277-8679.

    Sampling tickets are for sale in advance and on the day-of downtown for $1 per ticket.
    Tickets will also be available at the Chowder Cook-Off ticket booth on Saturday.

    This program was made possible, in part, by a grant from the Tompkins County Tourism Program.

    Chowder sampling tickets will go on sale in December.


    Directions & Parking

    Attendees can park in the Green, Seneca, and Cayuga Street garages and walk to the Winter Light Festival and Chowder Cook-Off. The garages are equipped with accessible parking and elevators. Street parking is also available. 

    For additional downtown parking information, click here. 

    Don’t want to drive? See TCAT bus routes and schedules here. 


    Interested in participanting in the Chowder Cook-Off? Register HERE!