Lites & Bites Lites & Bites Dec. 4 - 12, 2020 Dec. 4 - 12, 2020

Come enjoy the power of light in winter!

Downtown Ithaca’s Winter Light Festival Presented by Tompkins Trust Company will return December 4 – 12, 2020.

The festival will feature  a variety of interactive light installations created by local and national artists.

From December 4th through 12th, these light sculptures will brighten the highly trafficked Commons pedestrian mall on East State Street and showcase how creativity can enliven this space. Visitors can wander among and interact with the exhibits.

The festival will also include annual favorites Chowder Cook-Off and Santa’s Arrival.

Additional pop-up activities during the festival will include the very popular Silent Disco, a glow bar serving beer, wine, and hot cocoa, and plenty more surprises in store for 2020!  Stay tuned!

2020 Winter Light Festival Sponsors

Presenting Sponsor
Supporting Sponsor
Tourism Partners

10 Days of Events, Exploration & Winter Celebrations

Friday, December 4th
  • Winter Light Festival Opening Celebration
  • December Gallery Night presented by Tompkins Trust Company
  • Silent Disco Party
Saturday, December 5th
  • 10th Annual Chowder Cook-Off presented by Maguire Jeep, Fiat, Ram, Chrysler
Sunday, December 6th
  • Santa’s Arrival in Downtown Ithaca.
Check back later in the year for more exciting activities!
Chowder Cook-Off Header Image

11th Annual Chowder Cook-Off!

Saturday, December 5, 2020 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 a variety of different traditional, exotic, and gourmet chowders (seafood, vegan, and vegetarian options available) from local restaurants competing to be crowned our next Chowder Cup Champions!


Chowder sampling tickets will go on sale in November 2020.


Directions & Parking

Attendees can park in the Green, Seneca, and Cayuga Street garages and walk to the Ice 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. 


Event forms

Participation Registration is currently closed.  Check back later in the Spring to register.