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  • Napa Valley Marketplace Magazine

Downtown Napa is About to Get Lit!


UV Mural MATLEY HurD/Artist @ Bus Depot

Napa Lighted Art Festival Returns Nightly January 20 - February 18


By Lisa Adams Walter


The dark winter nights are about to get brighter, with the return of the free, annual Napa Lighted Art Festival which lights up sites in downtown Napa nightly from January 20 through February 18, 2024.

 

For five weeks there will be ten lighted art sculptures on display, in celebration of visual art, creative use of technology and an array of lights. The use of light and light technology, a growing art form, quite literally catches the eye! I will admit, I am always a bit awestruck while experiencing this festival.


The first nine evenings will also feature projection artwork on three iconic downtown buildings. The use of these large structures as a backdrop has been quite majestic in past years. Located in close proximity, the buildings that will be lit this year include First Presbyterian Church (at Third and Randolph Streets), the Napa County Courthouse (surrounded by Third, Coombs, Second and Brown Streets) and the Native Sons of the Golden West Building (on Coombs Street, between Second and First Streets). 


Interestingly, the artists for the festival are regional, national and international, hailing from the Bay Area, Nevada, Oregon and Pennsylvania, as well as distant places such as Spain, United Arab Emirates and France, demonstrating the worldwide appeal of the lighted art form. 


On Saturday, January 20, the first night of the festival, several of the artists will travel to Napa to participate in a free meet and greet event, open to the public from 4:30 to 6:00 p.m. at ÆRENA Galleries & Gardens on Main Street in Napa’s Riverfront on the southern end of downtown.


Toward the end of the festival, a family-friendly “art after dark” Lantern Parade is planned for Saturday, February 10, at 6:30 p.m., beginning and ending at Oxbow Commons Park. Members of our community are invited to participate, by creating their own unique lanterns to carry on the parade route, which is a short half-mile loop energized by the live music by Funk Fatale.


Sponsored primarily by the City of Napa, as well as the Napa Hotels and Inns organization, other sponsors include Downtown Napa Association, Visit Napa Valley, Channel Properties, Napa Historical Society, Napa River Inn, First Street Napa, Napa’s Riverfront, Napa Parks and Recreation, Native Sons of the Golden West, Children’s Museum of Napa Valley, First Presbyterian Church, Napa County, NT, Wm. Harrison and ÆRENA Galleries & Gardens. 


The participating venues and organizations share the Napa Lighted Art Festival tenets of producing an event for locals and visitors that is innovative, contemporary, uplifting, inspiring and imaginative. 


The lighted art installations are appropriate for all ages and designed to be accessible, immersive, interactive experiences that showcase the beauty and uniqueness of Downtown Napa, while highlighting several historic buildings. 

The Napa Lighted Art Festival is a gift to the community, and completely worth a stroll around town. Many of us in Napa do not regularly get downtown, which has become a vibrant retail, restaurant, entertainment and winetasting destination. This festival provides a great reason to get out and explore the various regions of downtown, especially during a less-trafficked time of year. Parking is easy, and because the entire region is flat, Downtown Napa is a very walkable and easy-to-navigate place. 


Grab an early dinner, happy hour bite, hot chocolate or glass of wine and then plot out your course. A destination map, and more information, is available at DoNapa.com/lighted-art-festival/prepare to get lit!

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