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Holiday Events This Week

By Maria King – Eventcrazy.com

The time for holiday events is upon us. Check these out from Maria King of Eventcrazy.com to see which ones are in your area.


Oglebay’s Winter Festival of Lights

Nov 13, 2015 – Jan 03, 2016

Oglebay Resort and Conference Center Wheeling, WV 26003

Since 1985, over 40 spectacular displays consisting of over a million colorful lights displayed throughout 300 rolling acres of the 6 mile drive. Businesses participate with decorations to add to the festive atmosphere. There are craft demonstrations, a laser light show and train exhibits as well. This is a free event, however donations are graciously accepted.
1,000,000 Attendees

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Southern Lights

Nov 20, 2015 – Dec 31, 2015

Kentucky HorsePark Lexington, KY 40596

Since 1994, A family tradition in Kentucky, the Southern Lights holiday festival, presented by Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky Inc., returns to the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Nov. 20-Dec. 31. More than 125,000 individuals in more than 30,000 vehicles attend Southern Lights annually from Kentucky and beyond, making Southern Lights a premier holiday event in the region and nation. With all the family-friendly activities offered, Southern Lights has grown into a well-known Bluegrass tradition over the last 22 years. Kids of all ages delight in the holiday driving tour. Visitors take in the “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” Keeneland race track, the spires of Churchill Downs and a wide variety of holiday, equine-themed and pop culture iconic displays, comprising thousands of twinkling lights. Following the driving tour, families are encouraged to park their vehicles and walk into the park’s main campus to visit the Holiday Festival attractions. This non-driving portion of Southern Lights features the Kentucky Horse Park Gift Shop, holiday craft merchants, seasonal entertainment, an exotic petting zoo, pony and camel rides, the Mini Train Express, model train and dollhouse displays, and photos with Santa. The Bit and Bridle Restaurant will be serving holiday fare as will other food vendors, including Papa John’s, Original Kettle Corn, High Horizons Coffee, and Bluegrass Concessions. The Southern Lights driving route is open 5:30-10 p.m. nightly. The Holiday Festival attractions will be open every night except Nov. 26 and Dec. 24-31. Guests are encouraged to take advantage of shorter lines and lower prices by visiting Southern Lights Monday through Thursday evenings this year.
125,000 Attendees

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Holiday Lights at the Beach

Nov 20, 2015 – Jan 02, 2016

Boardwalk at 2nd Street Virginia Beach, VA 23450

Since 1996, Drive on the Virginia Beach boardwalk! Take a shining journey into nautical, holiday, and adventure lands – all along the beautiful Virginia Beach boardwalk. Festive fish, jumping dolphins, frolicking porpoises – all in bright, colored lights against the clear night-time sky, are the stars of McDonald’s Holiday Lights at the Beach. They are joined by Santa, elves, and a 40-foot tall Christmas tree erected on the beach and in the beautiful parks along the Virginia Beach boardwalk. Over 25,000 families a year make this unique light show a part of their holiday celebration! This “Fanta-Sea” of lights is sure to dazzle and amaze holiday travelers visiting Virginia Beach. One of the highlights is the giant “12 Days of Christmas” display, where some fixtures stand 20 and 30 feet high! Drivers are able to tune their car radios to a frequency to hear holiday music along the McDonald’s Holiday Lights at the Beach display, making it easy to see AND hear why this event has been named one of the Southeast Tourism Society’s “Top 20 November Events” and the American Bus Association’s “Top 100 Events in North America for 2011!” McDonald’s Holiday Lights at the Beach opens nightly beginning at 5:30. Hours of operation are 5:30pm-10:00pm Sunday through Thursday and 5:30pm-11:00pm Friday-Saturday.
200,000 Attendees

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Festival of Lights

Nov 21, 2015 – Jan 06, 2016

Downtown Historic District Natchitoches, LA 71457

Since 1926. Celebrating “45 Nights of Christmas Lights”! Natchitoches, Louisiana has been Louisiana’s premiere holiday destination. Over 300,00 Christmas light and 100 plus river bank set pieces are on every night at dusk. Downtown attractions include carriage tours through the historic district. Shops and restaurants will be open late. All events take place in the Landmark Historic District along the Cane River Lake.
100,000 Attendees

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A Longwood Gardens Christmas – Organ Concerts

Nov 27, 2015 – Jan 02, 2016

Longwood Gardens Kennett Square, PA 19348

Since 1962, see over 4,000 poinsettia plants in a variety of colors, plus other crops include amaryllis, begonias, calla lilies, blue coleuses, Christmas cactus, cyclamens, blue irises, Jerusalem cherries, narcissi, primroses, stevias and red tulips. Outdoors, the gardens are a twinkling wonderland with over 400,000 lights covering both evergreen and deciduous trees as well as wire frames. Theatre fountain displays are set to holiday music. The final element for holiday cheer is music, which has grown from one organ concert to about 150 organ and choral concerts.
200,000 Attendees

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Christmas City Walkway of Lights

Nov 21, 2015 – Dec 31, 2015

Matter Park – Mississinewa Riverwalk Marion, IN 46952

Marion, Indiana’s history as Christmas City USA dates back to 1965 when an Indianapolis television station visited Marion to film the city’s elaborate holiday decorations. Marion adopted Christmas City USA as a nickname, and ever since, the entire community has celebrated Christmas in a big way. Over 2.5 million lights illuminate the night along a 3 mile stretch of Marion’s Mississinewa Riverwalk, winding along into Matter Park. Visitors to the Christmas City Walkway of Lights can enjoy the many beautiful displays from the comfort of their own car, or by taking a leisurely stroll along the Mississinewa Riverwalk. The spectacular 96 foot riverboat and a suspension bridge which stretches 227 feet across the Mississinewa River are two visitor favorites, and children of all ages will delight when they spy giant animated dinosaurs. After you have enjoyed the light display, come in and warm up by the Gift Shoppe fireplace. Browse through the many handcrafted gift items created by area artisans.

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Downtown Denver’s Grand Illumination

Nov 27, 2015 – Jan 24, 2016

16th Street Mall Denver, CO 80299

One of the holiday season’s longest running traditions, the 9NEWS Light the Lights event, takes place at the City and County Building, when one of the most beautiful and popular holiday lighting displays in the region will once again transform this historic building. Performers will entertain the crowd from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., including 5280 A Cappella, the Reigning Champions of the Rocky Mountain Sing Off; Sounds of the Rockies chorus, an adult choir ranked 4th in the world by the Barbershop Harmony Society, and Mariachi Vasquez, a musical family performing group. The City and County Building lighting display is entirely lit with LED lights and will be illuminated at 5:45 p.m. nightly through January 24, 2016. A dramatic light display set to holiday music will play at 5:45 p.m. each night. At 6 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday, volunteers will play holiday tunes from the historic bell tower. Denver Union Station Head to Denver Union Station where sparkling lights will illuminate the historic Denver Union Station in the heart of Lower Downtown. More than 100,000 energy-efficient LED lights will turn the 16th Street Mall into a beautiful promenade, lighting more than 200 trees along the 1.25 mile length of the Mall. Highlights along the 16th Street Mall include Denver’s historic D and F Tower, adorned with LED lights, wreaths and bows, and Skyline Park featuring trees with more than 50,000 lights. Along 14th Street, more than 180 trees will be decorated with nearly 25,000 white LED lights, enhanced by more than 32,000 brightly colored LED lights in trees on Curtis (green and blue) California (red, gold and orange), and Larimer streets (green and purple). You can also head to Larimer Square (15th and Larimer) and the Denver Pavilions (16th and Glenarm) which will be illuminated with festive décor and will host unique holiday entertainment and special events throughout the holiday season. In addition to the lights, visitors to Grand Illumination can visit the Southwest Rink at Skyline Park, located at 16th and Arapahoe, which opens Nov. 24 through Feb. 15, 2016. Skating is free with skate rentals available for $2.
75,000 Attendees

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Celebration of Lights

Nov 27, 2015 – Dec 30, 2015

Fort Zumwalt Park O’Fallon, MO 63366

Since 1991. Celebration of Lights is a holiday light display held at Fort Zumwalt Park. Each scene is designed and funded by local organizations, churches and businesses. This beautiful holiday display features more than 1 million sparkling colored lights decorated on trees and scenes along a one-mile route through the park. The display is open nightly through the holiday season except for Dec. 25th. Carriage and train rides are available by reservation.
45,000 Attendees

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Holiday Lights Spectacular

Nov 20, 2015 – Dec 30, 2015

Joe B. Barnes Regional Park Midwest City, OK 73145

For 20 years, Midwest City has presented the Holiday Lights Spectacular, one of Oklahoma’s brightest and longest drive-thru Christmas displays. Experience the sights and sounds of the holiday season as Regional Park is transformed into a twinkling winter wonderland that features over one million lights.
40,000 Attendees

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Festival of Lights

Nov 27, 2015 – Jan 01, 2016

London Bridge Resort Lake Havasu City, AZ 86403

Since 1996. The Lake Havasu City Festival of Lights really brings out the Christmas spirit — bring the family for a stroll under the London Bridge along the walkway or take your boat on a night cruise through the Bridgewater Channel as over 500,000 lights set the water aglow. Those who live here year-round know Santa traditionally visits the day after Thanksgiving — AND, Santa will hang around Lake Havasu to get out of the cold, making regular visits every Friday and Saturday from 6-8pm. So remember to bring your camera to capture the moment and create lasting memories. There’s plenty of free parking underneath the London Bridge in the English Village or The London Bridge Resort and Convention Center. Lights go out at 10pm nightly. Event dates and times are subject to change. Please contact event coordinator to verify information.

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River of Lights at the Botanic Garden

Nov 28, 2015 – Jan 02, 2016

Albuquerque Biological Park Albuquerque, NM 87102

Since 1997. Enjoy the magic of millions of twinkling lights and dazzling holiday displays at New Mexico’s largest walk-through light show! In 1997, River of Lights began as a fundraiser for the BioPark. Today, proceeds continue to support a variety of ABQ BioPark projects through the New Mexico BioPark Society. Each year’s show unveils ingenious new sculptures and stunning displays made by BioPark artists and craftsmen.

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Enchanted Garden of Lights

Nov 20, 2015 – Jan 02, 2016

Rock City Gardens Lookout Mountain, GA 30750

Since 1996, This award-winning, light extravaganza features more than 30 holiday scenes and over a million lights (with new LED’s) that transform the garden’s natural daytime splendor into a nocturnal fantasyland. See snow and visit with St. Nick and his elves. Enjoy gingerbread cookie decorating, hot cocoa, Sugar Plum Fairy Makeovers and nightly entertainment at the North Pole Adventure! See elves harvesting candy canes and building toys!

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Christmas Wonderland of Lights

Nov 25, 2015 – Jan 02, 2016

Zootastic Park Troutman, NC 28166

Since 2009, the annual Christmas Wonderland of lights, one of the Carolinas Largest Light Shows. With over 3 million lights, and a computerized light show set to music this will be a memory your entire family won’t forget. Along with the lights, Santa will be visiting nightly until Christmas Eve, we have petting zoos, pony rides, concessions, roasting pits to make smores, a candy shop, general store, and much, much more.
50,000 Attendees

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Lights on the Lake

Nov 20, 2015 – Jan 03, 2016

Lakemont Park Altoona, PA 16603

Since 1997, This drive through tour features 51 acres of holiday lights and animations, plus a holiday gift shop filled with delicious refreshments, holiday decorations and gifts, and photos with Santa Claus. The Alto Model Train Museum presents its annual model train display each night.

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Fantasy In Lights at Callaway

Nov 20, 2015 – Jan 02, 2016

Callaway Gardens Pine Mountain, GA 31822

Callaway Gardens’ Fantasy In Lights is not only the South’s most spectacular holiday light and sound show, it is one of the world’s “Top 10 Places to See Holiday Lights,” as named by National Geographic Traveler. No ticket is required to visit the Christmas Village which features photos with Santa, unique gifts shipped to us from the North Pole, and the Village Cafe. Whether you’re looking for a special Santa, a personalized gift or Christmas candy we’ve got you covered.
35,000 Attendees

holiday eventsFor all of your holiday events Maria can be reached directly at eventsblog@eventcrazy.com
or visit her website at EventCrazy.com
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Christine Crosby

About the author

Christine is the co-founder and editorial director for GRAND Magazine. She is the grandmother of five and great-grandmom (aka Grandmere) to one. She makes her home in St. Petersburg, Florida.

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