Arts & Culture

Celebrate the magic of the holidays at Alltech’s Celebration of Song featuring UK Opera Theatre

Listen to a performance of "12 Days of Christmas/Africa" from 2022 Alltech Celebration of Song.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 5, 2023) — ‘Tis the season for holiday cheer at the Kentucky Horse Park, where two festive traditions offer up the brightest sights and sounds of the season.

Set against a backdrop of beautiful Christmas decor, Alltech’s 18th annual Celebration of Song features performances of popular holiday music and traditional carols by the University of Kentucky Opera Theatre and winners of the Alltech Vocal Scholarship Competition. The free concert is set for 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 10, at Alltech Arena at the Kentucky Horse Park. Doors open at 3 p.m.; parking is free.

Nearly 40 singers will perform at the event, accompanied by a professional orchestra, and audience members will be invited to sing along during classic Christmas favorites.

Celebration of Song has been Alltech’s annual holiday gift to the community since 2006. Alltech founder Pearse Lyons was inspired to share the holiday spirit through song after experiencing a community Christmas festival while traveling in Brazil, said his wife, Deirdre Lyons, Alltech co-founder and director of corporate image, design and construction.

“Every year, Celebration of Song gets more wonderful. It’s a beautiful event that we’ve been proud to sponsor for our community,” said Deirdre Lyons. “We’re excited to celebrate the holidays with our community and with UK Opera Theatre, with whom we partner on several events, including our Vocal Scholarship Competition. This collaboration has enabled more than 190 UK students to pursue their musical ambitions and receive an education in the arts.”

“Christmas is about bringing families together, bringing communities together and celebrating the love and joy of the season,” said Everett McCorvey, UK Opera Theatre Director. “This is our gift to you.”

Attendees can close out the evening with a drive through the Southern Lights Holiday Festival, a dazzling three-mile display of over a million twinkling lights. This tradition is celebrating its 30th year at the Kentucky Horse Park. It operates nightly from 5:30 to 10 p.m. through Dec. 31 — excluding Christmas Day.

Tickets for Southern Lights can be purchased online or at the campground.

The Alltech Celebration of Song features performances of traditional carols and popular Christmas music by UK Opera Theatre vocalists and winners of the Alltech Vocal Scholarship Competition. Photo courtesy of Alltech.

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky.