One of my friends recently posted on Facebook that she didn't believe that there is such a thing as seeing too many Christmas lights.
I tend to agree.
Under that belief, my family packed up and headed towards Chickasha to take in the 20th Annual Festival of Light.
Held each year, the Chickasha Festival of Light is well worth the drive from the metro. From Norman, it took us about 45 minutes on the HE Bailey Turnpike. For my family, the drive was just long enough for some serious anticipation to build, but not so long that we journeyed into severe bordeom (or the need for a bathroom stop!) If you choose to go this route, be sure to bring enough change to pay the tolls—the first toll booth is $.055 (exact change required) and the second booth is $1.50 (cashiers available). There are other non-toll routes to Chickasha from the OKC metro, but, in the interest of time, we chose to pay the tolls and get there faster.
Where to Go:
Once you arrive in Chickasha, it is just a short drive to Shannon Springs Park where the festival is held. (Just head towards the huge lighted Christmas tree that is visible as soon as you drive into town!) A word to the wise—the line of cars waiting to drive throught the park is quite long this time of year. We went this weekend and the line stretched for as far as the eye could see down Grand Avenue (anticipate a 45-minute-to-an-hour wait). Since the evening was beautiful, we chose to avoid the line and just walk through the Festival. We parked in a nearby shopping center parking lot (after looking for any "Tow Away Zone" signs) and took the short walk into the park. Admission to the Festival of Light is free, but donations are accepted.
If the weather is nice, being on foot has some definite advantages—you can walk across the glorious lighted bridge (the light show changes with the music this year—very cool!), explore the light displays up close, feed the ducks and geese, enjoy the petting zoo, take a photo with Santa and more. Carriage rides are available for $6 per person and take you on a horse-drawn tour of the lights. Near the petting zoo, you can also take a camel ride for $5 per person. There is also a gift shop, complete with holiday items for sale, that serves hot chocolate ($1-2) and fresh cinamon rolls ($4). We chose not to partake in the carriage rides or camel rides, but we coudn't resist a sweet treat.
With over 3.5 million lights, The Festival of Light is a truly magical way to get caught up in the holiday spirit—and a great place to take out-of-town visitors or family during the holiday break. (Or, in the words of my daughter "It feels just like Christmas in here!") So whether looking at holiday lights is an annual holiday outing or a new tradition, this nationally-recognized lighting display is one you won't want to miss!
The Festival of Light is on display nightly from 6-11pm through Monday, December 31. For more information, call 224-9627 or visit www.chickashafestivaloflight.com.
For more awesome holiday light displays, visit MetroFamily's 2012 Guide to Holiday Lights!