You see them on houses, streets lamps and even in trees. (And no, they are not birds.) With Christmas right around the corner, the holiday festivities are in full swing and Christmas light displays are glowing statewide.
Many towns in the surrounding area kick off the season the first week in December with parades, music and other community events. However, the commodity that attracts a large number of people is a creative Christmas light display.
Some cities set up holiday light displays in its parks or other public areas after Thanksgiving. Other sites for tourism also host special holiday light displays for its sightseers.
Most community park light displays are available to the public for free, but accept donations or canned food. These donations are often given to different organizations in the community.
In this region there are a variety of displays for people of all ages looking to embrace the Christmas spirit. Whether it’s a quick drive through a park or a 30-minute show, here are four places in the region to visit this holiday season.
MURRAY CENTRAL PARK
Located just a few minutes from the University, Murray Central Park plays host to the annual Festival of Lights.
Local businesses sponsor the thousands of lights there to see.
Admission to the park is free, but donations are accepted in the form of cash or canned goods. These donations go to Murray Calloway County Need Line. The lights will be displayed until January, but the park hours vary. Other events are also available throughout the month in the park such as Playhouse in the Park.
BOB NOBLE PARK
“Christmas in the Park” is celebrated in Bob Noble Park in Paducah, Ky. The month-long event is sponsored by Paducah Power System and is a favorite community tradition.
During this holiday season, the park is decorated with a vast array of colorful, festive lights. Other events go on in the park as well, such as visits from Santa Claus.
Admission is free, but food and money donations are collected at the gate.
Thousands of people view the displays, making the event a great way to help organizations in the community including Paducah Cooperative Ministry, Family Service Society and the Salvation Army.
For those looking for a day out and about, Grand Rivers, Ky., hosts the Grand Rivers Festival of Lights annually from early November to January.
The Christmas light display, made of more than 700,000 lights stretches from Patti’s Settlement to the downtown area.
The cost is no more than it takes to drive around the small downtown area, but there are also locations where attendees are able to walk through.
The event features musical productions at a local theater and some unique shopping opportunities in the area, as well. Patti’s 1880’s Settlement is also open to the public during the holiday season.
MEGA Cavern is a fully underground, drive-through light show. The majority of the 17-mile tunnel is underneath the Louisville Zoo.
The light display takes 30 minutes to drive all the way through and admission is $25 by the car load. For more information on other events that are a part of the MEGA Cavern, visit louisvillemegacavern.com.
Each of these locations brings a certain unique feel to the season. While some park displays collect donations, others entertain visitors for hours. Regardless, the holiday light displays offer a little something for everyone in the community.
Story by Hunter Harrell, Staff writer