Winter Lights

Winter Lights on the Greenway is a series of lighting displays intended to bring warmth and cheer to the Greenway during the darkest part of the year. Installations and events that took place across the Greenway from December 1, 2014 through mid-March 2015.

This year, we have the following light displays:

  • 2 Elm trees decorated with white LED lights in the North End Parks.
  • 12 London Plane trees hung with either blue or white LED lights in the Wharf District Parks, starting near the Greenway Carousel and running to High St, near the Boston Harbor Hotel.
  • Moon Lit Globes displayed in several planting beds the Urban Arborteum located between High St and Oliver St, near the Boston Harbor Hotel and International Place.
  • Cafe lights in Chinatown Park Plaza.
  • Blue lights in the Chinatown Park waterfall area.

Past Winter Lights Displays and Events

Each year, we work to add some light and color to the Greenway during a period of time when our park's trees, plants and grasses are enjoying a dormant winter phase.

In prior years, local artists came together with the Conservancy to produce a series of light based events. The Winter Lights series encourages interaction, shared experiences and un-expected encounters for visitors to the parks.  These events and installations were envisioned to intervene in the daily lives of city dwellers and push them to pause, listen and pay attention to the beauty of nature amidst the urban setting of downtown Boston. We hope those who experienced Winter Lights on the Greenway will linger in the parks a little longer to enjoy winter in the City. 


Urban Planning Opening 

Thursday, March 14, 6:00-7:30pm 
Dewey Square Park (between Summer St. & Congress St.)

Re-imagine the communities that existed in the 1940's and 50's prior to an era of modernization that included the Central Artery construction, which would eventually evolve into the Big Dig and the Rose F. Kennedy Greenway. Join Lumen Collective in re-tracing the Greenway using LED rope lights to plot the buildings that formerly stood on the square. Visitors are invited to explore highlighted sections of Dewey Square Park and interact with a guided tour and physical map. Through an illuminated recreation of the site, the work allows viewers to re-consider the roles of public and private space in modern day urban planning.

Join us for the after party at Good Life from 7 - 9PM. Register here.

Frigid Phrases

Wednesday, February 20, 4:00 - 6:30PM

Wharf District Parks, near Aquarium T stop

Free all ages event.

Frigid Phrases is a free interactive outdoor Mad Libs event that explores the creativity of Boston through the beloved word game. Four large-scale Mad Lib poems written by local poets will be hung on the Rose Kennedy Greenway. Players will be given two mismatched gloves with words printed on them and asked to make new poems using the gloves and following the rules of Mad Libs (e.g., replace a verb with a verb). The objective of the game is to swap your gloves out until you make a matched pair. Best of all, you get to keep the gloves, a limited edition artwork created by the artists and producers of the event, Kate Gilbert and Emily Lombardo. This creative event is their first collaboration together. Both artists have been Boston residents for over 10 years and are excited to highlight the talent of Boston and embrace another cold New England winter with this outdoor event.

Color Commons Opening  

Thursday, January 10, 6:00PM – 7:00PM (Rain date January 17)
Rings Fountain (between Milk St. & State St.)

Get outside for this event and temporary art installation by New American Public Art designed for interaction with the Light Blades on the Greenway. At the opening, NAPA will unveil a phone number that will allow park users to text message a color to the Light Blades and see them instantly change. Bring your cell phone to the opening to participate in a texting battle and see the resulting light show as the Light Blades respond to a crowd of texts. Join us for the after party at Brandy Pete's, 267 Franklin Street, 7 - 9PM. Register here for the after party.

To change the Light Blades text a color to 917-525-2337.

Lightwaves Opening

Wednesday, December 5, 6:00PM – 7:00PM (Rain date December 12)
Boston Harbor Islands Pavilion (between State St. & Atlantic Ave.)

Start the winter season with a digital art experience on the Greenway. Join us for the opening of two temporary installations curated by Boston CyberArts at the Boston Harbor Islands Pavilion. Experience artwork by Alexander Reben and video projection by Georgie Friedman followed by an after party at Waterline bar at the Long Warf Marriott Hotel 7 – 9pm. Register for the after party here.

Life: 44013 by digital artist Alexander Reben
Reben’s work takes real-time water turbidity information from buoy 44013 in Boston Harbor.  In this case, turbidity is determined by plankton count and it is matched with water temperature to see how quickly the marine environment will encourage life.  The data “seeds” the community you see on the screen.  The community can grow if the conditions are right.   Colors change from green to blue to red. When the new community reaches equilibrium, the program calculates a score to determine successful growth.  Then the sequence resets and starts again.

Northern Lights (Rescheduled)

rescheduled to Tuesday, December 11, 6:00PM – 7:00PM
North End Parks (between New Sudbury & Hanover St.)

Join the Conservancy and the North End community for the annual lighting of the great Elm Tree. Warm up with hot cocoa and get creative with ornament making. Celebrate the winter season and enjoy bell ringing by the North End Music & Performing Arts Center.


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